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63 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

The good things about this ship: Room is of good size with plenty of sorage space. We were lucky to choose a balcony at the very back of the ship with enough space for a table, 3 sitting chairs and two lounge chairs. The Chops Grill ... Read More
The good things about this ship: Room is of good size with plenty of sorage space. We were lucky to choose a balcony at the very back of the ship with enough space for a table, 3 sitting chairs and two lounge chairs. The Chops Grill on this ship was my best dining venue on all my cruiselines and I've taken mostly more upscale than This one. Should I end up on another RCCL voyage And it's at par to this one I will spend most of my meals there. Excursions (Persian Golf cruise) were great and affordable. The ship is retiring in a few weeks! And now for the not so good news. Oftentimes we could smell the sewage on most of the starboard side of the ship. Fortunately our area was spared, but for most people it definitely was a nuisance. Our toilet system broke down on every single day, although we never used anything but tissue paper as what was asked. They came twice in the week to the entire mechanism but it work for maybe an hour ans would break up again. We ended up using the public toilets most of the time. Aside from Chops Grill, food is very dissapointing, but then, I am accustomed to better cruiselines. Level of service in restaurants vary a lot, this is especially true in the Windjammer Cafe where you do not have an assigned waiter. This is the first time in all my cruises that I was not able to get a table for 2. Those are very rare so don't even hope for it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We were cruising as a family with young kids. We were expecting sun, good food, relaxing time at the pool and of course some new cities to see. This time we almost got all that we wanted -that isn't so great as NCL, with as old ship, ... Read More
We were cruising as a family with young kids. We were expecting sun, good food, relaxing time at the pool and of course some new cities to see. This time we almost got all that we wanted -that isn't so great as NCL, with as old ship, managed to provide us earlier everything expected, and even more! Main feeling we got, was that for some reason, organization lacks communication; there was lot's of hassle with beverage packages, stateroom and dining arrangements – too often the answer was that ask somewhere else. There were still few bright stars who made our day several times, thanks to them! Food was pretty average, based on earlier experience we were expecting more. Meat dishes weren't so amazing, bread selection was narrow and fruit offering was always pretty much the same. Windjammer as an environment was rather stressful: it was too full or closing or partly closed with fences. We would have also appreciated more flexibility with dining hours; now it was impossible for example to have a proper early dinner with the kids. Select beverage package was also causing lot's of questions; for example one day sparkling wine wasn't included and next day it was, one day it was also charged as prosecco without notice. Shows and entertainment were mediocre. Some of the dancers were good, some weren't. We felt that content was bit too much targeted to older and British audience; Beatles, quizzes about kings of the UK, old movies etc. Kids activities however were awesome and basically that was the most important one for us! We booked one shore excursion which was arranged by Arabian adventures and that one was great! Otherwise we went to see ports on our own and had really nice days. During the last night there was one final letdown; we went bed early to get a good sleep before the flight. Around 3AM they however started to roll big and heavy metallic luggage containers out from the ship with huge bangs. The noise was insane and it lasted for rather long time. Our cruise wasn't too bad. If it would have been the first one, we maybe could have been even happier. But as NCL set the record so high earlier, we were expecting more. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We booked with Virgin, so two nights in a hotel The Hilton Ras Al Kahimah which was a great way to start a holiday. On arrival at the port terminal we were greeted by long queues, in fact we queued for an hour and a half, not a good ... Read More
We booked with Virgin, so two nights in a hotel The Hilton Ras Al Kahimah which was a great way to start a holiday. On arrival at the port terminal we were greeted by long queues, in fact we queued for an hour and a half, not a good start. However once aboard we found our cabin reasonably spacious, okay it was a bit larger than expected but not at all bad size wise and very clean with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. So off to the bar for a drink, thank goodness we were offered a drinks package with our "state room". The bar prices were a bit steep and most people took a drinks package once they saw the prices of the drinks. The first nights dining service was okay with it seems everybody finding there feet. After a couple of nights we found one particular table with exceptional waiting staff and kept that for the remainder of the cruise. The trips, the trips were let us say pricey and because of the ports of call it became obvious that without going on them you were a bit stuck, although to be fair Muscat was walkable and Abu Dhabi and Dubai you could get taxis, but to get into places like the Burj Khalifa you had to have a booking and this only came with an organised tour. Wi-Fi was expensive and I believe Royal Caribbean missed a trick here as free Wi-Fi would have given them free publicity via social media, then again maybe that's why the make it expensive. The pick up from the ship was a bit chaotic to say the least but that was down to Virgin as no time was given for our pick up and the coach driver did not make himself obvious once we left the departure hall, in fact a few people did finish up on the wrong coach and at the wrong terminal once they reached the airport. We enjoyed the cruise although we have been on better, but sometimes you just have to make the best of things. So to finish off, staff great, fellow guests, mostly great, food good maybe not great, the ship a little tired but as it's been sold to Thomson I suppose that's to be expected. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
First cruise with Royal Caribbean and on this experience not keen to return. Embarcation was ok for us as we were early though it took some time for luggage to arrive The ship is a good size but we had plumbing problems in our shower ... Read More
First cruise with Royal Caribbean and on this experience not keen to return. Embarcation was ok for us as we were early though it took some time for luggage to arrive The ship is a good size but we had plumbing problems in our shower and found our cabin]which had a balcony to be very basic in its furnishing and tight in space. Assumed that since it has been sold there has been little outlay in replacing curtaining etc. but the problems in the Windjammer at breakfast and lunch must have other reasons. There seemed to be a strange lack of consistency in the layout of the food at breakfast and it was difficult to find things like honey and some cereals. Lunch time could be really busy and the constant messages over the tannoy telling people to move from the table when finished made for a less than relaxing experience. Dinner in the main restaurant was ok but nothing stood out. The starter portions when prawns or other seafood were very small and the desserts were average. Service was fine and there was a constant flow of staff clearing up but at the self service meals the layout seemed to cause chaos with too many people milling about trying to find what they were looking for The evening shows were again mixed with nothing exceptional. There was an aerial show in the atrium which was better on one occasion than the other when there seemed to be technical problems. Most of our excursions were either included in our package or booked ourselves and we were happy with most aspects. The ship organised tour in Muscat was good. Not nearly, as good as Princess in terms of entertainment or food. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Having completed this itinerary two years ago on the Serenade of the Seas, I had high expectations of this reprise, and headed a small travel group of 10. Overall, the group had a good time, but Splendour cannot be fully credited for this ... Read More
Having completed this itinerary two years ago on the Serenade of the Seas, I had high expectations of this reprise, and headed a small travel group of 10. Overall, the group had a good time, but Splendour cannot be fully credited for this outcome. The Good Embarkation: Check-in at 11:30am was quick, smooth, and well-organized. Having read all the materials,we were prepared to surrender our passports, and were thrilled with our Omani visa stamps when we got them back at the conclusion of the cruise. Staff: Our group was serviced by 3 Cabin Stewards, all of whom turned in at least an acceptable performance. Some of us had friendlier stewards or ones whose towel animals were more creative. Guest Services staff were FABULOUS. Each time I visited, I was assisted, promptly, efficiently, and received promised follow-up. Best of all, our waiter at dinner was far and away the best I've encountered. His razor-sharp wit, quick thinking and spot-on recommendations were a hit with the group. Food: The food in the Windjammer Cafe was actually pretty good. There were flavors for all palates and at breakfast, if one wished to wait in the queue, options for freshly cooked eggs/meats. I found meals in the King & I Dining hall to be unfailingly delicious and well-presented. Wifi: Value is a personal thing. I MUST be connected, so having an option for unlimited wifi, however pricey - was wonderful. I purchased that package, and connected consistently and seamlessly the entire time. I was able to text and make "phone calls" back home using Facebook messenger. The Bad Cabin: I selected a Junior Suite and for some reason expected more from the balcony. The barren balcony area had only two uncomfy mesh chairs and a table - no lounger. Guess I must have chosen the wrong side of the ship, because we never faced any port at which we docked. The bed was terribly uncomfortable and made my back ache the entire trip. It kept moving away from the wall, so I rolled off one night -- and discovered some sort of old bedding wadded in plastic underneath. The bathroom was adequate, but for about 24 hours, the water ran brown, then yellow, making it a scary proposition to shower or brush teeth -- despite the ship's assurance that the "problem had been fixed." (The suite had tons of storage space, however). Entertainment: I thought perhaps it was just me - but on recap, not a single one of us enjoyed the entertainment in the main theater. It was really, really, BAD. The acrobats performed on a single prop for far too long, the comic/magician was neither comic, nor magic, and that ship's production shows were mediocre at best - suffering more from poor arrangements as opposed to lack of talent. Sans the main entertainment or ballroom dancing in the centrum, there wasn't really much to do -- at least for our group of 30 - 50 somethings. Excursions: I have to agree these were overpriced. I used independent tour operators for our group. Highly recommend Oceanair Travel in Abu Dhabi/Dubai and Musendam Tours in Muscat/Khasab. We combined a city tour and dhow cruise in Khasab, paying about 50% of the Splendour's asking price and had, perhaps, the most memorable excursion of the entire trip. We went inland and saw prehistoric rock carvings, caves, visited Khasab castle/fort and a small shopping area. We spent an absolutely decadent afternoon on a dhow, drinking tea, eating fruit and being served a delicious lunch, after which we saw dolphins and swam with some of the local fish in the clear waters near Telegraph Island. I did pay for Splendour's "Panoramic Muscat by Night" tour. It was not as exciting as I recalled from my first trip. I also bought the ship's hop on/hop off bus in Abu Dhabi. The bus takes so long (2.5 hours) to complete its route, and repeats so infrequently (1x each 1/2 hour or hour depending on line), that there's really not sufficient time to hop off more than once, to tour the Mosque. All in all, our group enjoyed the cruise, but travelers complained of the lack of engaging activities onboard ship, the price and quantity of add-ons, and maintenance issues (the brown water and a gas odor that nauseated a few people). Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our seventh cruise, second with RCI. We had done this cruise before, but on Brilliance of the Seas. We booked everything through a cruise agent and was very happy. We departed from Birmingham on an Emirates flight EK38 on ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise, second with RCI. We had done this cruise before, but on Brilliance of the Seas. We booked everything through a cruise agent and was very happy. We departed from Birmingham on an Emirates flight EK38 on the Sunday evening at 20.25. Be aware as last time we experienced poor service from cabin crew. It almost seems like they cannot be bothered on this flight. As last time, we were served only one meal. In addition we were parched by the time we arrived at Dubai airport, once again due to the fact we were given very little in the way of free water or juices on the flight. Once again the cabin crew seemed to want to get the meal out of the way so they could have a decent rest before we arrived into Dubai. This was exactly the same as last time. The meal was only luke warm, like it hadn't been in the oven long enough. It seemed like everything was far too much trouble for them. We got to Dubai airport and didn't miss the transfers arranged by RCI. Last time we were escorted to a hotel for breakfast and had to go through the process of passports, cruise cards etc there which was a real pain considering we were tired. The only advantage was we were served water and fresh orange juice which we terribly needed. This time however, we had a private car arranged and it was so welcome. There was guy with a placard who escorted us straight to a car, loaded our luggage and took us to the port. Our bags were taken from us immediately by RCI crew and we waited in the lounge. We had priority boarding passes and there was no queing as we were one of the first there. We were first on the ship and used our cards immediately to upgrade to the Premium Package for drinks as we mainly drink spirits. This was $105 each for the week, which we thought was well worth it. Cabins were not available until 13.00 hours, but we had a change of clothes, previously packed in hand luggage so made ourselves comfortable until this time. However, we were incredibly tired. Our cabin was on deck 6 - 6022. It was the first time we had a balcony cabin. We didn't realise but these balconies had been added on a couple of years ago. It was ok though, there was somewhere to sit. We had requested double bed configuration. There was a dressing table with three small draws, but no other draws so we used the floor of the wardrobe. We took our own travel kettle and tea, coffee, sugar etc. There was no fridge. Apparently there were facilities and a fridge on higher up balcony cabins. There was a flat screen tv but the channel choice was pretty rubbish. Bathroom was usual cruise ship size. No toiletries provided apart from some shampoo, usually this is shower gel, which we did not bring with us so abit strange. As usual cabin steward very efficient, but he did get on my nerves alittle, keep knocking the door at night to see if we had gone out. We chose MY Time dining but was able to book for 9pm most evenings in advance and ask for a table for two. Sail Away party was a complete joke. Afew of the crew dancing around to awful music. No hooters sounding party atmosphere or anything. We have had fantastic ones on Thomson and Ocean Village in the past. This was a complete disappointment. Breakfast Mainly horrible. We mainly ate in the Windjammer. Absolute beglum. Like a cattle market, plastic plates. Bacon like scratchings it was done that much and sausage not always cooked right the way through. HP sauce scant. Coffee awful. Lunch Didn't always eat lunch but when we did mainly in the Windjammer again, although I did miss the ability to dine outside which we have experienced on lots of other ships. Dinner Taken every night in the King and I and I have to say this was fantastic. Our waiters, Favron and Sunny were brilliant. Nothing was too much trouble. They were attentive and hard working and all out to make sure we had an enjoyable experience. It was my birthday on the Saturday night and they were lovely. Excursions Didn't do any arranged ones. As we had been before we didn't get off first day as we wanted to relax after the exhausting day on Monday. Didn't seem like a lot to do in Khasab anyway. We were then in Muscat for two days and we decided day one should be spent on ship again and we could go out on day two. Once again great weather, as experienced last time. We walked around the souck but bothered by people all the time and no toilet facilities anywhere. Not great when you take a water tablet and have IBS!!!! When we did find one, there was only one working and it was absolutely disgusting. Abu Dhabi/Dubai - we once again bought Big Bus tickets for the two days, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but be aware if you bought in Dubai some of the advertised "free" attractions in Dubai were not included. This included Atlantis. Disappointing and not advised of this before purchase. However we did the beach tour in Dubai and the hotel drop after Burj was fantastic. Proper Arabian village type with water all around it. We took the hotels boat tour around it and if we go to Dubai again we will most certainly stay here. It was apparently a highlight of the tour. We also went to Dubai Mall, not so much for shopping but just a nose around at how big it is and we had something to eat here. Dubai is certainly full of rich folk. We had problems with our toilet in the cabin. For the last three to four days there was a problem with it not flushing. Each time we called reception they asked for maintenance to attend. Each time it was fixed when tried again same thing happened. No suction, just filled up with water. This was most annoying and I understand I am promised some discount off my next cruise with them. One week on and Im still awaiting the promised email. However, they did give us two days free internet access which is usually $20 per day per device. We also had late checkout which allowed us to stay on the ship till around quarter past eleven. Our private car was collecting us at 11.30. Of course you could stay later, but couldn't use cruise cards after 09.00 hrs. This was something we hadn't expected as even with Thomson you can use them right up until you disembark. Photographers were a pain in the neck. I didn't mind photo on embarkation or Formal Night but they came every night and even on sea days taking photos of folk in their costumes! who wants a shot of that. Drinks package was good. Husband drank Johnny Walker Black Label and I drank Bombay Saphhire. We also had cocktails. However, we did both have jippy tummies and my Husband suspected it was all the ice in the cocktails. Toilets on the decks were abit strange being located one below and one above the main deck 4. In addition I have never been on a ship where there are no toilets by the pool. Consequently if you are in your costume you have to cover up to go indoors to use one of the three toilets. These were also used for the Windjammer so you can imagine how busy they were. Smoking was Starboard side, deck 4 9 and 10. We were told the entertainment was rubbish. We did expect to see some shows but didn't see one. We were told by people who went to some performances it was crew doing most of it and there did not appear to be any outside entertainers on board. We have had better on Thomson. The shops were not great. If you wanted a decent coffee it came at $11 for two lattes. This included 15% gratuity which i thought was abit of a cheek to add on without first telling you they added. There were only a few seats, about 8 to sit and have a nice coffee. We did it once but didn't bother again. Sea day - the usual people who have no where to sit apart from indoors. Every cruise ship I have been on has this problem with sunbeds and unless you are up early you are sure you will not get one for the whole day. Fortunately we had only one sea day. Disembarkation was great because we were not part of the RCI arranged cattle market transportation. We had our own driver again, lovely Audi car, complementary water and swift drop off at Dubai Airport. Here though we had to go to immigration to have our passport stamped and despite RCI having our passports for nearly a whole week, they failed to stamp the passport for leaving Dubai. All in all it was an ok holiday. We knew what to expect but would we do this one again - possibly not. The ship is going to Thomson in April and it will suit them down to ground. The ship itself is lovely. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This just about scrapes an average but is more like a 2.5 star out of 5 as there is a big difference between poor & average. Boarding was very quick & straightforward which is not always the case when you start your holiday. ... Read More
This just about scrapes an average but is more like a 2.5 star out of 5 as there is a big difference between poor & average. Boarding was very quick & straightforward which is not always the case when you start your holiday. The ship is in my option looking a bit tired & jaded, the staff are very attentive & the food in the windjammer is very good as it always is on Royal Caribbean ships, staff are very friendly & attentive, but melamine plates past their sell by dates in the windjammer is a real no no in my book & all the cups for tea & coffee are in the main badly stained. The dining room itself did have atmosphere & the food was ok but food was rarely hot but that is something you often get in a busy main dining room, the staff here were excellent & very attentive The tables are constantly wiped but in the windjammer & solarium areas as well as poolside they are very tacky as in sticky & getting it re- wiped seems to make little difference, this also applies to many of the chairs round the tables & this was the view among many passengers that the whole ship needs a proper deep clean, something that will probably only happen when it gets a new owner. The ship certainly looks better from the outside than the inside, first time I have gone on a ship where no toiletries are provided in the cabin. The cabin itself was basic but clean & acceptable, people did enjoy themselves & many areas were still busy after midnight, problem is there is not too much of a choice of ship if you wish to do a Dubai cruise & they say you do get what you pay for. The first part of the holiday was a three night stay in a top hotel & from all accounts everyone was highly impressed by this part of the holiday which in a way highlights the misgivings of the cruise, but it does seem people are accepting that the cruise is " average " but they have paid a price that goes with that valuation I suspect the three nights in the five star Sheraton Grand would normally be the price I paid for the ten day holiday, if you don't expect a five star cruise then you probably wont walk away too disappointed. The excursion in Abu Dhabi was the highlight of the cruise for me, went to the Emirates Palace hotel for High tea, this amazing hotel is jaw dropping in every way & nothing I could say about it would be enough to do it justice. Be aware that the desert safari in Dubai literally has its ups & downs, your not exactly told how extreme the ride over the dunes is, if you like roller coasters you will love it if you don't then its definitely not for you, there is a lovely meal at the end of it in the desert if your stomach is still in a position to take it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This review is only about the ship as that is all we booked, love going away over the new year to a warmer climate so this cruise seemed ideal. We arrived at the cruise terminal along with a lot of fellow cruisers, check in was smooth ... Read More
This review is only about the ship as that is all we booked, love going away over the new year to a warmer climate so this cruise seemed ideal. We arrived at the cruise terminal along with a lot of fellow cruisers, check in was smooth but we were told to wait until the ship was ready for us (cabins need cleaning). There's not an awful lot at the cruise terminal so sat around waiting at least an hour then along came a member of staff with a megaphone, couldn't hear clearly what she said but caught we could board. We went straight to our cabin, which was ready (had not been told we could not) popped our bags in and went to go for lunch in the buffet restaurant, we were met by a cabin steward who rather rudely asked what we were doing and said we should not be here and showed us out of the corridor. Lunch was good, plenty choices and we had a wee wander around to get our bearings and then headed to our cabin. The cabin was average size for an outside on deck 3 forward, first time we had the bed at the window, which I quite liked. Lifeboat drill went quite smoothly then we were free to enjoy our cruise. As time went on we notice we always seemed to have a problem catching the waiters eye to get a drink order (was this because we had a drinks package) at least in the buffet restaurant anyway which was where we chose to eat all the time. The New Year celebrations were good, although it was the first time we had to buy our own drink to toast in the new year but did find they seemed to be short staffed, are they running the ship down before passing to Thomson, surely not as that would not be good customer satisfaction. Most of our fellow passengers we spoke to who had cruised with RCCI before said we had chosen the oldest ship of the fleet for our first cruise with them, but surely that should not matter. There just didn't seem to be the same welcome atmosphere you normally get all through your cruise. When it came to the end of the cruise we had to have our cases outside by a set time as usual, but we were running a little late, got cases outside our cabin only to find they were still there the next day - never had that before. So we had to take our own luggage off the ship and no one offered to help, that made us feel that we were just forgotten about and they were too busy getting ready for the next lot, never felt like that so much before, have noticed that the ships that are America run do seem to like you off the ship asap. Has it put us off cruising with RCCI, no - if the iterary is right we don't mind who it is with. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Dubai Airport , 300 passengers going through passport control in lines was slow mainly due to the fact staff leaving their booths for a walk about . A private taxi collected us from Dubai Airport and transported us to Dubai cruise ... Read More
Dubai Airport , 300 passengers going through passport control in lines was slow mainly due to the fact staff leaving their booths for a walk about . A private taxi collected us from Dubai Airport and transported us to Dubai cruise terminal ( have proof of your booking handy to get through port security gate) at terminal building met by porters who are eager to take your luggage inside for expected payment ,after a couple of hours were were eventually processed (even though we had completed our administration on line) boarded the ship, pay particular attention to the Deck number of your stateroom ,your sea pass card has only the last 3 digit on it. We were on any time dinning visited the King & I restaurant once , the waiter and his assistant both introduced themselves as it was our first night we enjoyed the meal, we took all our meals in the Windjammer self service restaurant ,breakfast you could order omelets or fried eggs,lunch/dinner was varied 3-4 hot soups in various colours ? Salads cheeses soft tomatoes and a carvery, as week progressed seemed to be lots of mixtures of stews the food was OK,table staff were helpful and the wine waiter was not over bearing in selling . Entertainment was average choreography seemed out of sync with singers and dancers, sound was poor if not inaudible, we did go to an international karaoke competition it was dire & the compère was even louder ,they had aerial artists in the centrum pretty good but you can only bounce and spin for so long (15 minutes). Ship security staff only one member checking passengers off the ship when in port. Ports of Call Khasab, 8km from the port .We had booked trip on a Dhow arrived on the pier with many passengers all standing about in the hot sunshine, totally disorganised eventually groups made there way to other end of the pier to board the boats .the trip up the fjords was different no greenery and small fishing community’s who do not like tourist we stopped so some of the passengers could go swimming. Muscat. x 2 days(Via Royal Caribbean) We had purchased Big Bus Tours Tri City Ticket , Hop on hop off bus in the port for the city tour the buses were extremely busy and you might not get a seat if you got off ,we stopped at the beach and visit the local cafés/ shops due to confusion about what currency they would accept we decided to catch the next bus out . Second day we went a bus tour which included a visit to a 5 star hotel for afternoon tea. Abu Dhabi UAE (one day) City tour and Grand Mosque with beautiful Islamic architecture has the second largest (70m x 60m) hand made Persian carpet in the world. Dubai , Hop on Hop off bus tour to Palm island and visited the lost chambers aquarium which was very busy. Disembarkation on the last day was a lot quicker ,unless your on board account had not been settled. Dubai Airport ,departure through passport /imagination was slow at the desk no communication just a curt room 4 (notice other passengers being sent to rooms) official behind his desk looked at us and passports stamped returned passports and we at another desk official stamped passports and we were through to security the experience was nothing like the happy smiling face's of official photographs , if Dubai want to encourage tourism have to send officials on a customer care courses .Large shopping mall with a variety of food outlets and shops. If I returned I would like to spend a couple of days exploring Dubai before joining the ship Overall enjoyed the Arabian Gulf holiday. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have recently returned from a cruise to Oman & the UAE on Splendour of the Seas. I would start by saying that my previous cruise experiences have been on Norwegian and I much prefer their freestyle mantra. While a small ship I ... Read More
I have recently returned from a cruise to Oman & the UAE on Splendour of the Seas. I would start by saying that my previous cruise experiences have been on Norwegian and I much prefer their freestyle mantra. While a small ship I though overall for it's age Splendour of the Seas looked in good condition in the public areas though I felt that in the lesser traffic areas (like the corridors and stairwells for cabins on lower decks) it looked pretty tired. Embarkation was a complete nightmare - I had completed all required paperwork online because that was recommended to speed up check in, but when I got to the port at 1:30pm I lined up for 2 hours before getting checked in. In previous cruises I have never spent more than 20 minutes in line. I understand that I am not an RCL member so was waiting in the longer line but it was a bit ridiculous, more staff would have streamlined the process and perhaps a line for those who hadn't bothered to complete their forms in advance as those were the ones that held it up for everyone else. Dining wise I only ate in the Windjammer purely because as a solo traveller I preferred not to sit with a table of 8-10 in the King & I, this highlighted my preference to travel with NCL where I could sit at a table of 2 in the main dining room at any time of my choosing. The food at the beginning of the week was good but towards the end it felt like some of the meat was being recycled into stews and didn't taste great. Food was lukewarm unless you got there right on 6:30pm for dinner but the variety of food was fine. Entertainment was dreadful, aside from the aerial show which was good but incredibly short I felt the standard was well below what I have seen on other ships. There weren't any fantastic theatre shows to speak of and some of the singers struggled to stay in tune. Port wise it baffled me that the ship spent 2 days in Muscat but only 1 in Abu Dhabi when there is so much more to see there. Muscat was a good port though. Khasab was good for me because I booked a Dhow Cruise but to be honest if you hadn't booked a shore excursion through the ship then this port would be a complete waste of time, there was little to no representation on the pier from the locals and of course no taxies so you really had no option to explore other than via the ship's tours. Information about the ports within the cruise compass newsletter was minimal and my observations of information being provided by Guest Services and Shore Excursions staff was that they also were not particularly knowledgable on the ports we were visiting. When I got off in Khasab to go on the shore excursion there was a complete lack of organisation and staff, only 1 person handing out stickers for multiple tours and it was only by luck that I noticed a local holding a numbered sign for my tour across the other side of the pier - no announcements, loud speaker, nothing. The tour itself was excellent though. I chose an interior cabin which for the price was fine but I regretted my choice to go on the 3rd deck which was directly underneath the casino and the main atrium bar - it was like having someone move house above my head every night all night. I didn't request a move because I got it at a very cheap price so I completely accept that I wasn't in a position to negotiate a better room. Air con in the room didn't work properly, even when set to the warmest it could go it was absolutely freezing - I asked for it to be fixed and was told that the person who had stayed in that room the cruise prior had said it was too hot so it had been made colder, it was never fixed and I slept in long pants and a jumper to stay warm. The shower had the opposite problem even at it's coolest setting it was almost too hot to stand in. When I tried it on the first day at a mid-range temperature it nearly burnt me - but I guess at least I was always sure of a hot shower which sometimes you don't get on ships. Staff in general didn't seem excited or happy to be onboard with the exception of the housekeeping/room attendants who were all very lovely. While I am sure it would be have been better if I was in the main dining room not once in 6 days did anyone ever ask me if I wanted to order a drink, not in the Windjammer, or the pool deck, nowhere - it kind of surprised me. Both times I needed to see Guest Services I had to line up for over 30 minutes however that may have been more to do with the people in the line and their line of questioning than the staff themselves, but while the staff helped me with what I needed they never smiled or seemed welcoming. I disembarked a day early in Abu Dhabi so disembarkation was obviously a whole lot faster for me than embarkation. Overall it was just an "okay" trip, not one I would talk about for weeks after or be recommending to my friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Started the cruise after a 4night stay in Mestre Venice embarkation excellent balcony cabin midship on deck 6 plenty of hanging space but no drawers or shelves for clothes. Drinks expensive so took a package for one (surprising as in the ... Read More
Started the cruise after a 4night stay in Mestre Venice embarkation excellent balcony cabin midship on deck 6 plenty of hanging space but no drawers or shelves for clothes. Drinks expensive so took a package for one (surprising as in the past all cabin occupants had to have one.) We knew about the drinks policy but managed to get a bottle of gin and a bottle of brandy on board in our suitcase. As RC have no tea/coffee making facilities in the cabins we use room service each morning for our wake up brew this year we asked for a kettle and received one on day 3 so could brew our own as required. Food on board was very good but not usually hot service good buffet which we rarely use was the best I have seen on a ship(we have done 11 cruises on different lines) Entertainment with the RC singers and dancers was poor but entertainment brought onboard was good although some nights we struggled to decide what to see on others we had little choice lots of daytime entertainment from bridge to crafts, dance lessons to keep fit sometimes a little holiday campish like the belly flop competition and the sexiest male but you could avoid this if you stayed away from the pool area area. Excursions desk not much help if you wanted to see somewhere on your own took one with the ship to Jerusalem and Bethlehem rather expensive at approx 139$ each we were rushed around for 5 hours Jerusalem was excellent but Bethlehem was a complete disappointment would have been much better to take a taxi arround Jerusalem and enjoy it at leisure Finally disembarkation was excellent for our 3night stay in Dubai Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We were a large party who sailed from Venice to Dubai on the Splendour of the Seas, a ship soon to be sold by RCI. I was a bit apprehensive given that the ship was 20 years old (despite a recent re-fit) as my previous experience on ships ... Read More
We were a large party who sailed from Venice to Dubai on the Splendour of the Seas, a ship soon to be sold by RCI. I was a bit apprehensive given that the ship was 20 years old (despite a recent re-fit) as my previous experience on ships of this age with a re-fit (Celebrity Infinity) proved very disappointing. I was pleasantly surprised however as RCI clearly take care of their fleet. Before I review the cruise, their is one matter which appalled us all. At no time when booking the cruise, or prior to the cruise, were we made aware of the 'pirate precautions' which would be carried out. These included being banned from the top deck for a night, not being allowed lights on our balconies some nights (which rendered the balcony out of bounds), the anti pirate crew drills, the covering of windows through out the ship with brown paper, the general darkness the ship was in for some nights, the 'safe haven' instruction re any potential attack and most concerning of all the weapons which were brought on board labelled as 'security equipment' (is this legal under maritime law?). There were a few on our group who, despite the assurances this was merely a precaution, could not relax during this part of the cruise. Shame on RCI for not making anyone (not even travel agents) aware of this at time of booking or prior to the cruise to allow us to decide if we wanted to cruise under these conditions. Be aware of this if you consider this cruise (with any company). Embarkation - was as smooth as I've experienced. Compared to Celebrity last year (Panama Canal cruise) it was much smoother and quicker. The ship was clean and well looked after, though in comparison to modern liners a bit on the small side. This was particularly acute given the 6 days in a row sailing we had. The windjammer self service was a too small for the number of passengers, however we always managed to get seated together at lunchtime once we coordinated the securing of tables. Crew were all very pleasant and helpful and seemed genuine in their hope we enjoyed the experience. We dined in the first sitting at 6pm which is about an hour earlier than we'd have preferred. Given the size of our group, any time dining was not really an option. Second sitting was at 9pm which was too late for us. Main dining was good, though it is disappointing that RCI continue the trend of charging extra for a small number of dishes which remain free on other cruise lines - lobster being the main one. The waiting staff were good, though as with every cruise I've been on, it constantly grinds that the men in our party were served alcohol immediately we sat down whilst the ladies had to wait, sometimes in excess of 15 minutes. A quick word with the head waiter sorted this, though it shouldn't have been necessary. We also paid for 4 night speciality dining at Choppes Grill and Azumi Japanese restaurant. Ignore the Sushi option, it was bland and not worth going to. Choppes grille was very good and the steaks amazing, but we couldn't help feeling a bit annoyed that the high quality of food in the speciality restaurants (which you pay extra for) used to be the norm in the main dining restaurants of RCI. Entertainment - The theatre shows were pretty poor. I don't think any of us lasted a whole show before leaving. We much preferred our time in the Schooner bar. For a ship with only 3 inside bars, it was annoying that the bar in the Top Hat lounge was not open during the day, more so as most of the 'during the day entertainment' took place in that bar. There's not much to do on the smaller ships other than quizzes. Thankfully we were a large group so could entertain ourselves. I'm happy we never did this cruise as just a party of 2. Excursions - We did our own thing in Athens which I'd recommend. For 70 Euros (in total), a local taxi driver gave 4 of us the same tour that RCI were charging $120 each for (albeit we had to feed ourselves). The driver was great, very trustworthy and only wanted paid at the end of the day, whilst he gave us time to enjoy the sights and shopping. Haifa- We did the tour of Haifa and Acre (or ACCO as we were informed by the guide). Not much to see in Haifa and it's quickly forgotten, however Acre was a really good tour. The only down side was we were continually told there was no time for shopping until we reached a local souvenir store (which the tour guide was clearly promoting) where we were allowed 30 mins to browse the tat on offer. We bought nothing. Jerusalem - A tour encompassing the wailing wall, the old city (including the 14 stations of the cross) and the Holy Sepulchre was amazing. Well worth the cost of the tour on its own. Then on to Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity which although I am not overly religious was quite moving. This tour was a bit spoiled again re the shopping. Not being allowed to browse any shop or stall other that the tour operators preferred tat store meant again not much purchased. Salalah - We did or own thing again and for $150, 6 of us were given a tour of Salalah. (of note, there is no cheaper price to get into the town). Not much to see, the Souk was Ok but almost all stalls sold the same stuff. Dubai - Again did or own thing which was good. No pressure re time given we had an over night stop. High Tea at the Burj al Arab 7 star hotel is a must. Disembarkation - The Smoothest I've ever experienced probably helped by some passengers staying on board for the next cruise and some who chose to disembark the day /night we were in Dubai. Being the second time we've sailed on an older and smaller ship, for future it'll definitely be the larger and modern ships for us and time to give cruise lines other than those in the RCI stable a go. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We've cruised with RCI now for a number of years and generally like the cruise line. This particular cruise was a bit of a mixed bag! The good.... For an older ship about to be sold we were pleasantly surprised that it was in ... Read More
We've cruised with RCI now for a number of years and generally like the cruise line. This particular cruise was a bit of a mixed bag! The good.... For an older ship about to be sold we were pleasantly surprised that it was in such good ship shape, was intimate and had more character than the newer RCI ships. Even our cabin was well appointed and more spacious than we expected (room 7106). The not so good.... it's hard to explain the downside without listing a whole load of niggling faults that accumulate. I guess the best way to say it is that it feels like the ship is winding down to the sail of the ship in April next year. For example... 1) Service around the ship - normally on RCI impeccable but on this cruise was variable... sometimes not enough bar staff and sometimes bar staff more interested in talking to each other. 2) Food was often lukewarm or cold 3) Entertainment seemed low key and forced rather than a pleasure... (note having spoken at length to one of the performers who I'll keep anonymous this isn't a surprise as they were generally not treated so good) 4) Processes like passport collection and distribution were badly organised (one required us to queue for 30 mins in the middle of our cruise).... etc. We completed a mid-cruise review with these points and in all fairness to the crew every issue was recorded and raised with us discretely. There was at least some attempt to solve the problems but it was clear the effort was more about negating our complaints than solving the problem. For example the day we submitted our "food is cold" comment, the dining staff looked out for us and our food was delivered on piping hot plates and the whole table noted. It was a nice touch except that the next night it was again lukewarm.. and we weren't about to delay our food and make an issue every night. We met a variety of people that were much more animated and displeased on the cruise.. from the first time RCI cruisers who were appalled at the rip off alcohol prices (note this is typical RCI and so if you're into alcohol we'd advise you find another cruise line) to a couple who have cruised with RCI many many times and even were on the Splendour the year after it first sailed (1997) who basically thought every aspect of the service and ship was worse. Frankly and in complete fairness on the whole we had a great holiday despite things being below RCI normal standards. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We'd had a fab cruise on Eastern Med with Celebrity Silhouette in 2014 so jumped at the opportunity of repeating some of those fab ports with Royal Caribbean's Splendour in late Nov 2015, before it sailed off to Dubai for winter. ... Read More
We'd had a fab cruise on Eastern Med with Celebrity Silhouette in 2014 so jumped at the opportunity of repeating some of those fab ports with Royal Caribbean's Splendour in late Nov 2015, before it sailed off to Dubai for winter. We got a great cruise-only deal and arranged our own flights and transfers which ran smoothly. Maritima cruise port was a little unorganised compared to our last visit but it didn't take too long to get onboard and our cabin was ready - so we dropped off our carry-on and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. We knew not to expect Silhouette's modern elegance or facilities, as Splendour is over 20 years old and smaller, and were pleased with the 2011 refurb of public areas. Our cabin however, looked dated and tired (though clean and spacious - being a large ocenview aft deck 3), as if the refurb didn't include them. Also, Royal Caribbean's website was not accurate with cabin photos or details as cabins did not have iPads and interactive services. For any queries one had to phone Guest Relations or queue in person which was disappointing as queues were always long -obv as you couldn't even check your account using the TV in your cabin. Our departure got delayed by storm winds & rain, making us miss the beautiful sail away through Venice. Captain made a few announcements on the first evening and finally told us that our delayed departure meant we would need to skip our first port, Dubrovnik, altogether. Much grumbling about that onboard, and we also were very disappointed since we had booked this holiday to visit Dubrovnik and Kusadasi again. Most nights' sailings were a little rocky but leaving Turkey the Captain gave us a warning of storm winds ahead - and we had the worst night onboard ever. Doors outside were closed, water was pouring into the Solarium, and the ship shuddered and jolted on its journey to Split. Very little sleep was had and in the morning Captain made an announcement to say we'd actually had some Hurricane level winds overnight. Although winds eased, we then weren't able to dock at Split until late afternoon - resulting a shortened stay, delayed departure and a late arrival back in Venice. Entertainment I have rated average or poor, as it wasn't to our taste really. We are a couple in our late 30s and the musical theatre productions were probably more aimed at folk 20-30yr older than us, with more US slant to it too. Craft sessions in the Schooner Bar? Not for us. Took part in some of the pub quizzes and went to see evening Game Shows in one of the other venues (Mr&Mrs, Who wants to be a Millionaire etc) and I did participate in a zumba session in the Centrum on one of the sea days. The activities team members were all loud and fun, but the cruise director was terribly wooden and totally unfunny..and cliched. High of the trip: Staff. Especially serving staff in the MDR and head waiter & kitchen who made sure my hubby's diet was well catered for during the week. Food was great in the MDR and in the Windjammer, not to Celebrity standard but good. We didn't use any of the specialty restaurants so can't rate them. Service in bars was good and prompt too, we upgraded to Select package and found it had a wide enough range of wines to enjoy. Good mix of ages and nationalities, incl. good number of other travellers 20s-50s to keep the club busy on most nights too. As I mentioned, the weather was against us most of the week and it resulted in us arriving in Venice late on our final morning. Thankfully our flight wasn't on too early and we disembarked only about 45mins later than scheduled. Plenty of taxis were outside the terminal so we were able to use our Radiotaxivenezia AP pre-pay transfer voucher and arrived there before the masses (on RC shuttle buses). Pleasant ship, small but with great staff, good food but dated cabins (mis-sold on RC website). Great itinerary too, shame we missed 1,5 ports :( Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
As a quick summary it seems that royal Caribbean is becoming more of a budget cruise line when it comes to food ...our last cruise was thomson , ..there was lobster on the menu...on royal Caribbean it was a chargeable extra. On royal ... Read More
As a quick summary it seems that royal Caribbean is becoming more of a budget cruise line when it comes to food ...our last cruise was thomson , ..there was lobster on the menu...on royal Caribbean it was a chargeable extra. On royal Caribbean the fish pie had crab sticks in it an not a lot else. The scallops (well I think they were scallops were the size of peas). Breakfast in the main dining room is now part self service( get your own cereals , orange juice etc) and part waiter (omelettes, sausages, bacon etc) but you wait for ages for anything ordered. This was out of keeping with service which generally was very good. Entertainment and everything else was on the side of good and above budget level cruising but the food is not up to the level of princess, celebrity or p&o ( and suprisingly below thomson unless as stated you want to pay extra ...30 dollars per person extra for lobster) Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We were very taken aback by what we felt was the 'hard sell' policy of the company. As it was our first cruise we felt we should attend the initial briefing meeting, however after a few general points the whole meeting was used ... Read More
We were very taken aback by what we felt was the 'hard sell' policy of the company. As it was our first cruise we felt we should attend the initial briefing meeting, however after a few general points the whole meeting was used as a selling opportunity for the on board shops. Jewelry and handbags were displayed and there was a whole presentation on the 'opportunity' to buy 'special offer' watches. Next did we want to buy a drinks package ($57 per person per day) or an internet package or indeed a photo package. We were assured that if we didn't book official excursions we might miss seeing important sights or indeed that it was our only guarantee that the ship wouldn't sail without us. As it turned out we could have seen more much cheaper in every port by using locally available tours. For 'sea days' the ship had a policy that guests should not reserve sun loungers if they were going to be away for more than half an hour, however this was not enforced by the staff (hard to see how it could be) and generally this was the cause of some ill feeling. Finally gratuities, we consider ourselves to be fairly generous tippers but were taken aback to find that a prescribed amount $12.95 per person per day was summarily added to our account at the end of the cruise. This way of supplementing staff wages is not our idea of how tipping should work. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Day 1: Boarded the ship and there was a strong smell of damp on deck 2. Day 1 & 2: Sewage smell in the corridor outside our stateroom 2541. Day 5 & 6: Had to call maintenance to deal with plumbing issues. No one had the ... Read More
Day 1: Boarded the ship and there was a strong smell of damp on deck 2. Day 1 & 2: Sewage smell in the corridor outside our stateroom 2541. Day 5 & 6: Had to call maintenance to deal with plumbing issues. No one had the courtesy to let us know when the problem had been resolved. Day 7: Tried to print off boarding passes for flight home but there was a problem between the computer and printer so it cost $10 to print off 2 pages. Should have had 30 minutes Internet use but because it took over 30 minutes to sort out the problem we were timed out. Day 7: Spent 1.5 hours at Guest Services trying to deal with IT problems, were assured we would receive a refund of the fee and then were told this was not possible. Day 6 & 7: There was a fan blowing in the lift area on deck 2 trying to dry up some sort of leakage which probably explains the smell of damp. Really enjoyed the ports of call. The waiting staff, entertainment staff and housekeeping staff do a really good job. Food was ok, but generally lukewarm. Unless you intended to drink yourself silly, drinks package was very expensive. It cost $99.95 per person on a Royal Caribbean excursion on Santorini to visit one town and a winery which was just to sample the wine, no tour. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Just back from a 6 night cruise on Royal Caribbeans Splendour of the Seas. We are seasoned travelers; but this is the first cruise we have been on. One word disappointed. The ship is tired and in need of refurbishment and I now see ... Read More
Just back from a 6 night cruise on Royal Caribbeans Splendour of the Seas. We are seasoned travelers; but this is the first cruise we have been on. One word disappointed. The ship is tired and in need of refurbishment and I now see it has been sold to the TUI group. Royal Caribbean are only interested in UP SELLING. As soon as we got on board they were trying to sell drinks packages. We had one included which was for beer wine and soft drinks, but surprisingly didn't include bottled water which they were charging $5 (approx £3.50) for a 50cl bottle, which in the centre of Athens and Venice where you would expect prices to be high I paid no more than 1 euro for (less than £1). The ship actually had people selling water to at the exits of the ship as people left to go ashore. Also be careful of the excursions packages. Extortionate prices and the excursions team will not discuss any other options with you. We paid $400 dollars for 4 of us to do a 4 hour trip around Athens being told that due to the financial situation in Greece it was unsafe and not to trust the taxi drivers. The tour guide that met us off the ship told us Athens was perfectly safe and a taxi back to the port would only cost 12 euros. There was also a city open air hop on hop off tour bus which you could get from the port for 20 euros a head. Tickets to the Acropolis were only 12 euros. It was a similar situation in the other places we docked at. My advice is to do your home work before you travel and avoid booking excursions on the ship unless you really need to. Entertainment was a let down. I was expecting shows such as Mama Mia and Chicago. No nothing like. I have actually checked the brochure since we got back to make sure I wasn't mistaken. I wasn't Royal Caribbean have a page highlighting these very West End Shows. On a good point the self service and the fine dining restaurants were very good and the service was excellent. We were told that once we had been on a cruise we wouldn't want to holiday any other way. Not sure about that. I would consider a cruise again but Royal Caribbean wouldn't be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Overall we were rather disapointed with the below average Cabin we had constant issues with the toilet and AC and for three its just not a good idea. We were rather surprised at the changes in things like coffee. A cappuccino in the main ... Read More
Overall we were rather disapointed with the below average Cabin we had constant issues with the toilet and AC and for three its just not a good idea. We were rather surprised at the changes in things like coffee. A cappuccino in the main dining for $4 bucks ?? $20 for a steak ??? One of the things we expected for the premium prices was a premium experience but not out my pocket again. Ports of Call. If you want to do ONE thing only this is the ship it seemed to arrive late and leave early every port of call that we went to .. Look I understand they want you to spend money on the ship but come on 6 hours to explore.. We loved the casino staff enjoyed the entertainment the food was what I consider average cruise fare on a par with carnival.. For Europe spending the extra money on RCI is just not worth it. Our criteria next trip will be a ship that spends the most time in a port and accomodation next.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my fourth RCL cruise and I saw huge drops in all areas for quality. First we waited over 2 hours to check in in Boston. Having checked in there with Holland America I could see they only hired 50% of the staff, for a larger ... Read More
This was my fourth RCL cruise and I saw huge drops in all areas for quality. First we waited over 2 hours to check in in Boston. Having checked in there with Holland America I could see they only hired 50% of the staff, for a larger ship. I spoke to one of the check in agents, who are contract employees, the same ones work for all the cruise lines, He said yes Royal Caribbean will never hire enough people. I have not been on an RCI ship in about 7 years and I will never go on one again. For one thing the quality of the food has really dropped. No high cost food items at all. All the supposed desserts are just Jello and Cool Whip made into a Mango Slice. Dinner is still decent but lobster only one night on a 2 week cruise? No smoked salmon offered on the breakfast buffet, you can order it in the dining room. Breakfast in the dining room has a breakfast bar for cereals and fruit, This eliminates wait staff. Everything on the buffets are totally low cost food items. No waffles for sit down breakfast? First I will say we are not Diamond or Diamond Plus, all the revenue for the cruise seems to be going to give them special perks. We had an outside cabin and when we showed up there were no toiletries. Just one bar of soap. I asked our cabin attendant and he said that he could get some for the suites for us. So now we have to pack our own lotion? The bridge director was a total joke. He was very hard of hearing and couldn't understand what anyone said. The first lesson day he was totally unprepared for the lesson or the game. He kept telling us that someone from the cruise line was supposed to be there to set everything up. They didn't. Also they did not offer free shuttles to go into port. The shuttles are now a money making operation for RCI. Plus on one port the city offered free shuttles but we were not told about them and told that we have to pay for an RCI shuttle. By the way they do offer free trips in to town for the crew. The television is horrible, no news channels for most of the trip and no printed newspaper. If you like good food eat at Giovanni's every night. Great value there. Plus the crew is wonderful. They work very hard and under all this cost cutting it must be tough. Lots of them have been there over 10 years so they don't have a lot of options to switch to another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We have sailed with RCI a number of times, normally on the larger ships. We decided to try the Splender of the Seas because of the itinerary, despite it being much smaller than we were used to. What a disappointment this ship was to us. ... Read More
We have sailed with RCI a number of times, normally on the larger ships. We decided to try the Splender of the Seas because of the itinerary, despite it being much smaller than we were used to. What a disappointment this ship was to us. Firstly, we found it very noisy whenever any music was being played or the so called entertainers were on, either in the Centrum or Schooner Bar, The volume was just too loud, you couldn't hold a conversation or hear yourself yourself think, and we're not old fuddy duddies either, we're in our mid 50's. The R Bar was very under used, the bar itself was rarely open when we went in after dinner unless it was going to hold bingo or adult karaoke, we thought they cold have used it more for the quizzes they insisted on playing and left the Centrum area for those of us who wanted a quiet drink. The only place you could have a fairly quiet drink was in the Viking Lounge, unless they decided to play the disco music really loud, as they did on a couple of occasions. We were unlucky to have bad weather for most of the week, which meant there were more passengers trying to stay dry in the Solarium area or around the ship in generally. As a result, the areas quickly became untidy and scruffy looking. There didn't seem to be enough staff in general to clear plates, glasses etc, even the bar staff were in short supply, something we've not come across before. It was more noticeable in the pool areas, particularly on the last day as this was a cruising day and the weather was being kind. The addition of the big screen has added to the noise levels in my opinion, the ship seems to be becoming more of a party ship. We were on My Time dining for four nights. The first night (Saturday) was very disappointing, but after that it was very much improved and back to RCI standards. We went to Chops Grill two nights, no complaints about the food at all, although the service suffered when a very large group came in and it was all hands to the deck to the detriment of guests already dining. We only went to the Windjammer once at night and that was more than enough, the choice was very poor, unless you liked fast food, certainly not as good as on previous ships they really need to improve this. We had a really big cabin, one of the ones with a picture window, as a result we didn't miss the balcony at all. We were on deck 8 near the centrum lifts, although very noisy when you opened the door, the soundproof was very good and no noise penetrated through. The only down side was the noise sometimes from the pool deck if someone was running around late at night. Although we still enjoyed our holiday, we wouldn't go on a ship without the Royal Promenade again. To us the bigger ships suit us better because of the space, and we did speak to other guests who felt the same as us, but I'm sure there were plenty of guests who had a blast this is just my own opinion of our experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Booked a fly cruise and my companion has walking difficulties.The airport assistance was fantastic. Boarding Royal Carribbean was not easy as there was no assistance at the port. Throughout the cruise the staff were unsure of how to ... Read More
Booked a fly cruise and my companion has walking difficulties.The airport assistance was fantastic. Boarding Royal Carribbean was not easy as there was no assistance at the port. Throughout the cruise the staff were unsure of how to accomodate people with walking difficulties and often at ports , lifts were closed, at dining venues there were steps and stairs and even to be photographed with the captain at his welcome aboard evening , all guests had to negotiate the stairs up and down the main staircase in the Centrum. The main dining room was very grand and the service was good. The food however was poor and very disappointing. Only a three course meal offered. All meals were plated with no service of additional vegetables or sides. The food was often only just warm and the signature dessert, creme brulee, the same offering every night, was more like a wet blancmange with no cracky sugar topping. The sugar was wet and had dissolved on the top and a single slice of cold banana had sunk into the mess. I've had better in my local pub! Being adventurous , I thought I would sample chef's watermelon and raspberry soup served with a Mojito Foam. Big mistake! The 'foam' only appeared when I moved the spoon through the soup and was so off putting that I could not bring myself to eat it. Honestly I thought someone had spat in my first course. The windjammer buffet style restaurant provides a wide selection of food , including breakfast, and we often had better quality food here. The cooked dishes such as the fish pieces were left to stand and had gone a bit dry. The main problem here was the use of only plastic plates, cups and bowls. The thick plastic does not retain any heat therefore the food gets cold quickly, and to drink a morning cup of tea from plastic picnic wear is just not up to standard. If you are prepared to pay extra the food in the Chops Grille $30 per person per night extra then you will get the service and food quality that has been the standard of the many other cruise companies we have experienced. The wine list on board was extensive but the prices started from $33 a bottle. This is a little more than other cruise liners and so if you enjoy 'fine dining' this may add quite a bit to the overall cost of your holiday. Also to be noted are the charges for extras such as any classes, yoga, morning stretch etc. Other enrichment activities included things like 'adult belly flop competition'. Some how I have difficulty seeing this as 'enriching' . Another disappointment was the lack of a laundry room or any fascility for ironing. There is no trouser press in the room and the only way to have an item pressed is of course to pay! For this you must think in advance and put your ironing out 24 hours before.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
BAD
This is my eighth sailing on Royal Caribbean and the worst ever. Let me start by saying the cabin attendant, guest relations staff and wait staff were all excellent. The food was good but not great. Even though the ship was refurbished ... Read More
This is my eighth sailing on Royal Caribbean and the worst ever. Let me start by saying the cabin attendant, guest relations staff and wait staff were all excellent. The food was good but not great. Even though the ship was refurbished only a few years ago it still show its age but it was always clean and maintained. Two months before the cruise we were told that this would be an "immersion" cruise, that is a cruise that included a majority of guests from a specific country (in this case Brazil) and we would be immersed in their culture. The immersion had the following effects on the rest of the passengers' 1. All prime time entertainment was aimed at the Brazilian audience. It would have been nice if they offered other prime time entertainment for other passengers. The disco was open at midnight. 2. Trying to get waitress service at the lounges was difficult for non-Brazilian passengers. We were a group of six and half of the time I had to go to the bar and get the drinks myself. 3. Getting attention at the stores was equally as difficult. 4. This being a Brazilian "immersion" cruise, I guess the Brazilians were told that they could do as they pleased because they were constantly ignoring lines for service, taking up the entire width of aisles so that others would have to go around them or barge right through them. After 4 or 5 days I decided that barging through them or just standing still and letting them run into me made me feel better. 5. A lot of the crew members were Brazilian and spent most of their time chatting with their countrymen rather than providing service to passengers from other countries. That being said, the tours we booked on-board were terrible. While they stopped where they said they would, the time at each stop was inadequate. We spent more time just riding around the streets of the city than seeing any sights. While I usually like Royal Caribbean cruises (the Oasis was wonderful) I will stay away from older ships and I will NEVER take another "immersion" cruise   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Our Cabin was great but our attendant was just barely marginal. He barely showed any interest in our experience aboard. He was even barely capable of faking the little interest he showed. I know that service is a difficult industry and ... Read More
Our Cabin was great but our attendant was just barely marginal. He barely showed any interest in our experience aboard. He was even barely capable of faking the little interest he showed. I know that service is a difficult industry and that it is hard to care but I think it is possible at least to be convincing, even if you must fake it. Our cabin was aft the benefit to the aft Jr. Suite is the size of the balcony. The balcony is a key point for me I love to sit read and relax with a nice cigar. The cabins were very well appointed for an older vessel. We were very comfortable. The beds as always were evil creatures that sucked you a=in and did not wish to let you go. We had a rougher voyage than we are used to but despite that the aft cabin had no more movement than any other cabin we have had. We did get a constant almost vibration that was barely noticeable, you could se it in your coffee cup or in my case the martini. You did get a lot more motion from swells but this was again not an issue except when we had rough seas.Apparently balcony smoking will be a thing of the past starting the first of the year. Personally this will influence me a great deal I may have to consider a return to Carnival. Carnival made the change as well then realized the mistake and returned to smoking. This is the smallest vessel I have cruised on and I thought that it seemed a bit crowded. The smaller number of people aboard did not matter the smaller space just packed you together more. Our overall experience with the crew was one of ‘limited interest in the passenger’; it was not just isolated to our cabin steward. We were cruising on the final leg of the crew’s contract time, it would explain being drained of energy, it would not let them off the hook for at least faking it though. The food was a real disappointment though, many dishes were bland and tasteless in particular the sups were a huge disappointment. I can honestly say that of the soup I had every night the only one that tasted marginally good was the Duck Consume. One of my favorites on every cruise before was the Cream of Wild Mushroom, this time though I would have been happy to have a bowel of Campbell’s instead. One desert though stood out the Lemon Tart was spectacular but every other was also a bland disappointment.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Firstly let me say this is our first time on a Vision class ship, and most recently we sailed on Allure of the Seas, so this was going to be a big change (or small if you look at the size of Splendour in relation to Allure)! Overall, ... Read More
Firstly let me say this is our first time on a Vision class ship, and most recently we sailed on Allure of the Seas, so this was going to be a big change (or small if you look at the size of Splendour in relation to Allure)! Overall, great cruise with some minor niggles. Will we go back? You'll have to read my review to find out at the end in my summary. Sorry. OK, so I'll give an overview of the cruise, great ports but that depends on what you want to do. We did 3 ships excursions in Dubrovnik, Santorini and Athens. Why? Well we've never been to Dubrovnik nor Athens so didn't fancy taking our chances with transfers / shuttles at RCI costs and then making our own way, and I knew with Santorini taking a ships tour ensures priority tendering, which it did. In Corfu we just visited the old town as we've spent a land vacation in Corfu but not visited the town centre. A major tip for you folks about getting to/from Corfu town. RCI will offer you an all day shuttle service for $10 per person. So you get off the ship, catch a free port bus (or walk it's not far at all) to the parking area where you'll find the shuttle buses. Alternatively instead of paying $10 per person, in the same area as the shuttle buses you'll see a local bus that will take you to the same spot as the shuttle buses for €1.50 each! That's €3 per person for a return trip and these buses run every 15 minutes. Mmm, I wonder why the RCI shuttle buses and drivers were just hanging around the port? So overall impressions, well the ship is in great shape for her age (although some rust is evident, especially on the balconies) and has some 'bells & whistles' after her revitalization in November 2011 (we did see her in Cadiz in dry dock as we sailed on a Liberty TA). She now has an outdoor movie screen, Park Cafe, Boardwalk Dog House, Chops Grille, Izumi, Chefs Table, Nursery, R Bar, Diamond and Concierge Lounges and a Britto Gallery. We flew into Venice Marco Polo airport and after a short transfer using Venice-limousine.com for €50 (far better than Rome to Civitavecchia in my opinion as such a shorter journey) we were at terminal 107 of the cruise port at around 11 am. Several other ships were docked, Norwegian Jade, Carnival Sunshine and MSC Davina. Quite a strange process for dropping off your bags at a building and then walking quite a way across a road to the check in terminal, not arduous but just a little strange. Check in was swift and within minutes immediately after checking in, we boarded, no waiting around at all. We were met on deck 4 near the centrum with a welcome aboard drink and the obligatory sales desks for soda and wine and dine packages. Now one thing to bear in mind on this sailing was that as from July 2013, Croatia became a member of the EU, and so this meant that this itinerary no longer visited a non-EU port. As a result all purchases on board attracted Italian tax (VAT) at a rate of 22% (it has obviously increased recently from the 21% detailed in the letter in your stateroom)! There's no 'duty free' bottles of alcohol nor cigarettes for sale in the 'general store', the contents of the shelves had been replaced by Michael Kors bags! This meant that everything was more expensive than on our previous European sailings out of Barcelona which only charges 10% tax. All purchases from the shops and photo gallery on board have 22% added and so do drinks from the bars, but it is not not shown as a separate tax, I suspect it has been included in the prices as they are definitely higher than what we paid earlier in the year. For example, we normally say 2 alcoholic drinks (house brandy, simple cocktails, house wine) would cost us around $15 -16 including the standard 15% gratuity. On this ship, most of our receipts were between $19 - $21. If this tax hasn't been incorporated into the beverage prices, and isn't charged, then boy have prices been increased. Your 8 x 10 photo will cost you $24.34 ($19.95 + $4.39 tax), a 6 x 8 $15.80 ($12.95 + $2.85 tax). Soon mounts up! Thank goodness for the free photo coupon in the discount booklet (oh yeah, Splendour was still using the booklet, apparently they go electronic on the Oct 26th sailing). No unlimited internet package available, even though wifi is available throughout. The standard cost is now 75c per minute and painfully slow, so much so we didn't buy a package, just used our free minutes (well most of mine was gobbled up by the inability of the system to log me off which resulted in a visit to Guest Relations where I was compensated with $6 worth of time, despite losing $22 worth) and used free wifi in most of the ports. So that would be my tip on this itinerary, find the many cafés and bars offering free wifi and relax with a drink as we did and use the far superior wifi service available. We had a category D2 balcony cabin on deck 7 near the centrum (7570) which was very good, with new carpeting, new balcony furniture and bathroom (although a dreaded shower curtain which attacks you!). Newly renovated with new carpeting, balcony furniture, bathroom. LCD TV, but not interactive so you cannot order to room service nor check your SeaPass account via the TV. The ship is easy to navigate due to its size and the Adults only Solarium has a retractable roof (which despite the great weather was never retracted, making it quite warm and stuffy and uncomfortable in my view), great loungers and even when children are allowed in (normally a couple of hours each day) it never seemed busy except on our one sea day when, as you would expect, beds were at a premium. Plenty of beds around the main pool deck too, and it never seemed too crowded. The Viking Crown now houses Izumi and Chops Grille and these venues take up the prime views in my opinion and reduces the normally panoramic views available from the Viking Crown. It also offers an al a carte menu for snacks, tapas and desserts (think Red Velvet Cake offered at Chops). Later in the evening the venue becomes the 'disco' with the normal DJ ('I'll play what I want, even though the dancefloor is empty, as it's my choice, not the customers!). Sorry, but I find this self indulgent attitude on all RCI ships, not just Splendour. So to the dining venues. There are, as mentioned, the speciality fee paying Chops Grille, Izumi and Chefs table (in a partioned area of the main dining room on deck 5). We ate at Chops twice and although only late reservations (9:30pm) were available online (which I did book) on one day, I had no problem changing once onboard on day 1. Complimentary venues include Park Cafe, Boardwalk Dog House and Windjammer Cafe (all on deck 9). Cafe Latte-tudes is on deck 6 and serves complimentary cakes and pastries, but specialty Stabucks coffee and Ben & Jerrys ice cream is not free! Although if you buy 6 coffees the 7th is free. There are coffee and soft drink stations on the main pool deck and in the Solarium, but it's a bit hit or miss when they have drinks or cups available. A few times the coffee pots were empty or the coffee cold, and instead of dispensing lemonade or ice tea, just water was available. However, when available the orange juice both in the Windjammer and on the pool deck out of these dispensers was far superior to the 'regular' juice in the MDR. All beverages like tea, coffee, juice is self serve in the Windjammer using these machines. The main dining room (King & I) is 2 storeys on decks 4 & 5. My time dining is located on deck 5. Now this is my only negative on this trip, and that is the available seating in the MDR. We choose MTD and pre book online stipulating a table for 2 as we don't like to share unless we meet some people once onboard and elect to eat with them. That's the beauty of MTD for us, we no longer have to dread the first night of wondering who are table mates will be, and will we all get along. I know that's not everyone's 'cup of tea' as many of you enjoy meeting new people at dinner, but that's our choice. So off we go to the MTD 'check in' to be told no tables for 2 available as we are being shown to a table of 8. 'No thank you' I say and insist on a table for 2 which means we are paraded around the dining room looking like lap dogs following the Head Waiter. Not a good start. After dinner I ask why, when we have prebooked a table to ourselves (as it says on the RCI website) is none available? I am informed that the only time available for tables for 2 is at 9pm which is the last time diners are allowed into the dining room. OK, so we change all our prebooked times to 9 pm. Can't say I'm too impressed. So next morning, breakfast beckons. So off we trot to deck 4 and the MDR. Obviously as you might guess we are shown to a table of 10 and are expected to share first thing in the morning when I'm even less sociable than in the evening! This time we go with it, but as expected, as a same sex couple, no one speaks to us and the meal takes forever as it takes a long time to take and deliver 10 orders, coffee, tea etc, especially when the waiter is determined to encourage people to have freshly squeezed orange juice at $4 a glass and for those of us who decline, we wait forever for regular juice. Oh I forgot the requests for camomile tea, apple juice which further delayed the service. For subsequent breakfasts we request a table for 2, invariably to be told quite curtly that none are available, we will have to wait 'over there' (in the Centrum) and 'we are very busy, so it may be a while'! Well you know what, we did wait, no longer than 5 - 10 minutes and we're still in and out in less time then when dining with 8 others! So my comment card clearly stated more tables for 2 required as we were not the only ones requesting them. Now for dinner, yes we got our requested table for 2 at 9 pm (woe betide you for turning up 10 minutes earlier as again you will be told none available). However, sometimes as this was the latest time for MTD, we felt rushed as the wait staff wanted to clear tables, other times it was ok, just depended if you were in the 'naughty corner' where most of the tables for 2 are located in a corner at the back of the dining room or a more 'open' area (table 179 was our favourite). We thought the food however, was excellent, although I know this is very subjective. The portions seemed larger sometimes. The staff are excellent and very friendly although looking more rushed than ever, to the point of having to apologise on several occasions that we had to wait. I've now realised that I've prattled on for over a page about the MDR, so I suppose it mattered more to me than I realised. It didn't ruin the cruise, but left a bad taste about MTD on smaller ships. As for service, in general it is service 'with a smile' to a certain degree. However, I found that those 'in charge' we're less friendly and in some cases downright rude. For example, I went to Guest Services (open 24 hours according to the Cruise Compass) to cash a travellers cheque. There is always a member of staff checking the line to see what you need. I was told very rudely that they could not cash the cheque at this time as guest services is closed! Err there are 2 staff behind the counter, but closed? Why I ask? (Thinking they no longer cash cheques) to be told there is a staff meeting. What he should have said was, 'the cashier in the casino will happily cash your cheque sir' (which I knew anyway) not just turn his back on me. And before you say 'why didn't I go to the casino first' I was passing guest services, not the casino at that time. Entertainment is available as on all RCI ships, but we didn't see a show in the 42nd Street theatre (only 1 level on deck 4), the Centrum has bands playing, acrobats swinging from the ceiling and this is where the 70's party is hosted with the obligatory 'Village People' in the evening. Another tip, if you like to retire early, then don't get a cabin near the centrum as the sounds travel up from the singers or bands playing. Quest is held in the Top Hat lounge on deck 5 and looked fun, but I can't say the CD was on fire, and to be honest a little lacklustre. Due to the size of the ship there is nowhere you could sit and listen to some relaxing music with your drink of choice, as each venue had some sort of loud music in the evening, be it the singalong in the Schooner Bar (great fun) or band playing in the Centrum to the DJ in the Viking Crown. There is the usual Spa and a very small fitness centre, both located aft on deck 9 and accessed from the Solarium but I can't tell you anything about either of these as we didn't use them! Disembarkation was painless. As we had airport transfers included as part of the air/sea package with RCI, we were given baggage tags for a 7:30 a.m. departure (our flight was 11:25) and Venice airport doesn't advise arriving more than 3 hours before departure (RCI also mention this in the cruise compass) as seating is limited in the airport. Odd numbered tags were advised to wait in Top Hat lounge on deck 5, even numbered tags in the 42nd Street theatre on deck 4. Platinum and above Crown & Anchor members could wait in the Schooner Bar on deck 4. Those requiring wheelchair assistance were requested to wait in the Centrum on deck 4. Express Departure guests had to advise Guest Services in advance and would be expected to carry off all their bags from 7:00 a.m. and before 7:30 a.m. (Actually they were allowed to disembark starting at 7:15 followed by tag number 1 at 7:45 and 2 shortly thereafter. We were aboard the bus at 8:00 having collected our bags and passing out of the terminal (no passport or customs check) and on our way to Marco Polo airport at 8:05 for the 25 minute transfer. As I said, painless. In summary, the ship is in good condition, on the whole the staff are friendly and helpful, the service is good, and the ports are excellent (Dubrovnik must not be missed, Santorini is spectacular and Athens for historical sites can't be beaten. Corfu has plenty to offer and Katakolon has one street of shops and a harbour full of pretty cafés and tavernas but little else as it the port stop for Olympia). One noticeable and pleasant difference to the bigger ships are the lack of announcements for bingo, $10 sales, belly flop competition, worlds sexiest man etc, etc. Those of you who have sailed on the Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class will know what I mean. Basically during the day, it is peaceful with very few 'bing bongs'. Bliss. So the $64,000 question, would I sail out of Venice again? Definitely yes, it's such an easy transfer to/from the airport and is a beautiful city to experience and only a 2 hour flight for us. Would I want to visit more of the Greek Islands? Of course, there are so many to visit and they are so charming. Would I sail Splendour again, given a choice, no, she's too small for me and doesn't give the variety of venues I've become accustomed to and that are available on the larger ships. Don't get me wrong, she is a great ship, on which we received our first Crystal block and never appeared crowded (boy those things weigh a lot, around 1.5 kilos or just over 3lbs to be exact!). Although I did have to chase that down as it had been delivered to the wrong cabin!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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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