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146 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Some of the reviews for the Splendour remind me a bit of reviews I read about Monarch of the Seas a few years back just before it was sold. The Monarch proved to be a well-run happy ship and the same was true of Splendour. The ship may ... Read More
Some of the reviews for the Splendour remind me a bit of reviews I read about Monarch of the Seas a few years back just before it was sold. The Monarch proved to be a well-run happy ship and the same was true of Splendour. The ship may not be the newest or biggest but it’s well-maintained and the crew is still 100% committed. Fares are very competitive so if you pay $500 for a 7 day cruise in reasonably exotic waters you can’t expect the experience you might get on, say, Seabourne. What we got was honest value and a very pleasant cruise. Embarkation was good, possibly because we arrived at about 12 Noon and had completed all the online check-in documents. We were quickly aboard, said hello to our steward Annie, dropped our bags and headed for the Windjammer which I found surprisingly quiet for an embarkation day. Food everywhere, while not the best, was more than adequate with plenty on offer in the Windjammer and reasonable variety in the dining room where our waiters Maria and Maricel made every evening an event. We were travelling light but managed to make a fist of Formal nights. A jacket and tie was enough to avoid you feeling uncomfortable. We took the occasional breakfast and lunch in the MDR too. Options were reasonable. Some of the secondary dining locations such as the dog house and Park Café offered variety as did the enthusiastic ice cream lady on the pool deck. We had an inside (3081) and crowded in a third adult – my son. Not as nice as a balcony but it wasn’t exactly hardship either. The TV showed some watchable films – Ant Man, Jurassic Park, National Lampoons Vacation etc. they came on a loop and I think we eventually saw them all. Not sure what German guests were making of continual repeats of Allo Allo though! There was just about enough room for us to organise things. There was plenty of storage. The shower curtain could have been a bit more generous but it’s a small grumble. A better bet was to head for the pool deck to see some blockbusters on the big screen including Everest, A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson) and The Walk. Blankets were provided. Entertainment looked adequate too although the only time we went to the main theatre the lighting of the acrobats seemed to be out of synch. Acrobatics and shows in the Centrum were better I thought – especially the Beatles tribute bend who were excellent. Ports of Call were unusual. We took a dhow up the fjords at Khasab which was really pleasant. We got to see dolphins following the boat and had 30 mins in which to swim off Telegraph Island – and get ashore to see the ruins of the old British telegraph station. In Muscat we walked around the town under our own steam. It was reasonably interesting. We managed two half days of rain there which was unlucky given they get 12 days of rain all year. In Abu Dhabi we visited Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque which was very impressive, The visit to the Heritage Village was cancelled because of the Red Bull Air show which was disappointing. The alternative offered – a coach tour of Yas Island wasn’t as attractive. For the last day the ship docked back at Dubai. Since we had a few days booked in Dubai after the cruise we took the opportunity to stay aboard which was a relaxing end to the trip. To be honest, I wonder why I go sometimes. I tend to stay in insides, never go to the shows, don’t drink, don’t pay for speciality dining, don’t gamble, don’t use the spa or gym or climbing wall or mini-golf and only take a few excursions. Despite that I enjoy being on ships and the Splendour was a nice ship to be on. It says a lot for the commitment of the crew that they kept standards sky high just a few weeks before the ship is sold to Thomson. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our first experience of cruising so we had mixed feelings once we started to read the reviews but I suppose you can't please all of the people all of the time. We were met at the airport and because of the time of day 8:00am ... Read More
This was our first experience of cruising so we had mixed feelings once we started to read the reviews but I suppose you can't please all of the people all of the time. We were met at the airport and because of the time of day 8:00am we were taken to a lovely hotel for breakfast and whilst there we completed our paperwork in preparation for boarding the ship. That was effortless and then a short journey to the ship we were told that our cabins would be available in a couple of hours but all facilities were open for us to use so again that was fine. We really enjoyed our holiday, the food was first class, our cabin 2004 was adequate clean and plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, we had an ocean view but with a pothole so it was a little dark. The staff were friendly and very obliging and nothing was too much trouble. We ate every night in the King & I restaurant and had no problem booking a table and the food was excellent. The Windjammer at lunch time was always extremely busy and there was a window of 1.5hrs 12:30-2:00 when it was very chaotic and tables were very difficult to get. We had one day at sea which was difficult with 2000 people all using the ships facilities they were strecthed to the limit with people having to sit on the deck floor as all sunbeds were full. Drinks packages we bought the package before we started our holiday all I would say is if you are not sure if it's for you there's no hurry as you can purchase on board the only stipulation is when you buy it it has to be for the rest of your holiday eg buy Wednesday you would pay for 5days. Water, juice,coffee and tea are free from drinks stations. If you don't want to go on trips you can do your own thing and there are free buses from the ship to take you into the resort. There was plenty of entertainment choices from line dancing to quizzes during the day if that's your thing and the evening could easily be enjoyed going to a show or just relaxing in one if the bars. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I have just returned from my 6th Cruise and 2nd with RCI. I chose this cruise mainly for the Price and Destination offered and all in all was very good value for money. Splendour is nearly 20 years old and on its last season before ... Read More
I have just returned from my 6th Cruise and 2nd with RCI. I chose this cruise mainly for the Price and Destination offered and all in all was very good value for money. Splendour is nearly 20 years old and on its last season before transferring to Thomson (where it will greatly improve their fleet). Some people mentioned it was tired looking but i didn't think this was the case. The Staff in general were extremely helpful,fun and hard working. Our BA Flight arrived in Dubai before 0800 so we were met on arrival and transferred to the Le Meridian Hotel over the road from the airport for breakfast and to complete the check in procedure which took about ten minutes. We were then transferred to Port Rashid and was onboard by 11am and our stateroom was ready about 1pm. We had full use of the ships facilities as soon as we got on board. Our Cabin 3031 was a Category N Inside Stateroom and had sufficient wardrobe and storage space and 2 very comfy beds. We ate most nights in the King and I restaurant, on my time dining, which i pre booked in advance before leaving the Uk and had a table for 2 every night with no problem. The Formal nights aren't anything to get hung up about, we were planning on going to the Windjammer on the Formal nights as packed a jacket but no tie or tux but the waiter said it is no problem, so we went to Formal night in trousers jacket and shirt. We used the windjammer for lunch and breakfast, at times it was chaotic as so many people were eating here and you would get your food(which there was a great choice) then struggle to find a table to sit at. The entertainment was ok, not really my thing and as we ate late the only show we went to watch was the Beatles tribute band, who were brilliant,then up to the Disco in the Crown Viking Lounge. The night we departed Muscat there was a Middle East deck party which was ok,there was a belly dancer and after 3 middle eastern songs it kicked into full Ricky Martin and US/UK artists songs but everyone had a good time. The Drinks package i pre purchased in uk at approx £28 a day for the Select Package,this entitled us to Beer,Wine by the Glass and Soft drinks and non alcoholic cocktails....my only frustration with this is no one actually explained which beers were included so each time to make sure i didnt get charged i asked is this included in the package. The cheapest Wine was approx $9 per glass and Beer about $6 per drink which you would have to pay an 18% gratuity charge on top so i think i got my moneys worth just....if you have the drink package you also have to pre pay your gratuities for the cruise which i did as i cant be doing with tipping. The Excursions offered by RCI were not cheap either.... KHASAB-We decided to do the Dhow Cruise,RCI wanted £47 pp for a half day tour, i booked it in advance locally for 25 Euros and our boat had shade and 14 people on board(all from our ship and included fruit,water,tea,coffee) the boats used by RCI had over 100 people on and had no shade upstairs. I know we had the best deal MUSCAT-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port but a 2 hour(if you don't get off) bus tour at over £40 wasn't great value in my opinion. Muscat itself is only about a 20 min walk from the Port to the Souk anyway. ABU DHABI-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port and after doing part of the Red route(where the headphone jacks didn't work) we jumped on the Purple bus to visit Yas Island(with a tour guide no headphones), after 5 hours in total when we got back to the red route we took the shuttle bus back to the Port, but this was great value for money and well worth it, as so much to see in Abu Dhabi DUBAI-We decided we wanted to visit Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world so pre booked before leaving the Uk for about £25 ourselves. We got a taxi from the Port which was approx 60 AED (you have to pay a 20AED surcharge leaving the Port which is included in the fare) and to get back to the Port we only paid 30 AED. It was well worth the trip to the 124th floor and the amazing views,entrance is via the Dubai Mall which is massive! I have a few gripes with Royal Caribbean, they are very sell sell sell....trying to sell you upgraded drinks packages,trying to sell their Asian and Steak restaurants at a huge supplement,trying to sell you a tour of the ship to the galley,the bridge etc,always pushing the Spa,the Large Screen showing activities from the Cruise Director was always a sales pitch and was repeated about 5 times on the bounce before they would switch it off, the annoying jazzy,piano,light drum music that had no lyrics played around the pool that no one has ever heard of and the very expensive wifi rates. Lots of people use wifi now and i'm sure if they dropped their prices a little they would sell more. After 4 days of no contact from the outside world we decided to go for it....$20 per day for 1 device and 50% off for a 2nd Device...so $30 per day (the small print says once taken it has t be for the duration of the cruise...so couldn't use it just for 1 day) and i only really wanted it to be able to do my online check in for my return flight the day before flying home. Oh and No bottled water...unless you paid for it or upgraded your drinks package! Disembarkation was painless, we were told to meet in the showlounge at 6am (Breakfast was available before) and were called by Number and taken to the Terminal where our bags were waiting for us, we were then transferred to Dubai airport with no problems. The Food was good,not spectacular but nice all the same and the King and I Restaurant was good for a 3 course evening meal. Windjammer buffet had plenty of choices but limited seating at times and there was also a burger/hot dog eatery and snacks in the Solarium area. All in all i was very pleased with this cruise, to get flights,transfers,meals and a cruise for a week for £600 with gratuities was brilliant, a 5 night holiday in Dubai with no food would cost you more and you also get to see so many interesting places. The highlight for me was Khasab seeing the Omani Fjords and the dolphins swimming alongside our Dhow and Abu Dhabi, every building is bigger or more ecentric than the last...oh and the fantastic weather which was 80-85 degrees every day. The ship was very good, a smaller ship compared to most now at 70,000 Tonnes but was full of hardworking and joyful staff. I would definitely use RCI again Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our 10th cruise, 3rd on this class of ship and 3rd with Royal Caribbean. This cruise may have started on a tired outdated ship but there was nothing else tired about it except the passengers who seemed determined to have a great ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise, 3rd on this class of ship and 3rd with Royal Caribbean. This cruise may have started on a tired outdated ship but there was nothing else tired about it except the passengers who seemed determined to have a great holiday. You should be proud of your staff, they were hard working, friendly nothing too much bother. Ok the theatre show, with exception of Beetles tribute were not brilliant but the other locations around the ship were brilliant. Great musicians and singers made for a party every night. Food was good, waiters and unusually head waiters determined to make sure you enjoyed what was offered and happy to change if you didn't. Cabin stewards and not only your own so nice and cabins kept immaculately. I just wish the cruise lines would take on board that there is a place in the market for these smaller ships. We don't all want massive ships and bigger is not always better. So please replace this ship with an updated version. Gripes - usual. Drinks extortionate as were excursions. No tea coffee toiletries supplied. No fridge. So come on RC, build a new small ship, sort out the things noted above and increase size of inside staterooms and their bathrooms, and you would continue to have a loyal following. And thanks fellow passengers for making this one of our best cruises ever. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. ... Read More
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. The Stateroom was a little jaded as were some of the public areas. Having said that the service was excellent as was the food. The entertainment was just about OK but the speakers, who gave briefings on the destinations, need to be changed or given training in public speaking. The facts may have been interesting but the delivery was flat, monotone and dull. This seemed to suit many in the audience who soon fell into a restful sleep. The deck pool and wirlpools were fine but on sea days you had to be up early to get a sunbed and up very early to get one in full sunlight. The staff did try and impose the rule that "a sunbed could not be reserved (with a towl etc.) for more than half an hour" but they were fighting an uphill battle. There was also an indoor pool that was actually better for swimming. We mainly judge by comparison which is why this ship doesn’t score to highly. But is this was the first time that I had stepped onto a cruise ship I would have been very impressed. Especially considering the price we paid. Return BA flights from Heathrow, seven night’s full board accommodation with more food than anyone could eat with visits to some interesting and exotic locations and all this for just seven hundred quid. The only question is “how do they do it?” Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Everything went smoothly with this cruise. the pick up arrangements at the airport, the check-in for the ship at a hotel and the access to to ship and cabin. A week in the sunshine (in Jan/Feb) helped but our memories are of a very ... Read More
Everything went smoothly with this cruise. the pick up arrangements at the airport, the check-in for the ship at a hotel and the access to to ship and cabin. A week in the sunshine (in Jan/Feb) helped but our memories are of a very pleasant trip, with no hassle and easy access (via courtesy bus) to all the ports and towns/cities without doing any formal excursions. Cabin was good, room services was excellent (even the breakfast served to the room was surprisingly good), bed was good as were the pillows. We were upgraded the day before we left so access to a both on a ship was a real bonus. Upgrade was to a Junior Suite. Bigger room, seating for four, lots of storage space, a bath and sizeable balcony. Upgrade became clear when so many people had booked at the last minute and had paid less than half of what we had paid. It happens when you book early and the upgrade made it much more acceptable to us, although some passengers do like to rub it in just how little they paid! Access to wifi was also available at the ports (free) which saved a fortune compared to the ship's wifi costs. Watched a film on the outdoor screen one evening - great arrangement and clear enough to see and hear the dialogue. Dining was good, staff were excellent and ship had everything we needed. Good entertainment most nights. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Splendour of the Seas has been sold to Thomsons for April 2016, but the ship was fine and no obvious sign of the ship under Royal Caribbean being run down. Once we all found the Royal Caribbean rep, we were picked up from Dubai airport ... Read More
Splendour of the Seas has been sold to Thomsons for April 2016, but the ship was fine and no obvious sign of the ship under Royal Caribbean being run down. Once we all found the Royal Caribbean rep, we were picked up from Dubai airport and taken by bus to Le Meridian Hotel (2 mins from airport) for ship-check in and a breakfast - that part was well organised. Then transferred in a 20 min journey to Port Rashid and to the ship, arriving at midday and cabin access was from circa 1.00pm onwards. Cabin 8584 was a Junior Suite and it was great to great such an upgrade so late on (bath, seating for 4 and larger cabin). However we discovered that many passengers from England Germany and Ireland had booked late and got deals which were about a half to one third of what we paid. One couple claimed to have paid one fifth of our cost. Frustrating, but not much you an do about it when you book early. Staff were excellent, Cruise Director was particularly good and the magician and Beatles tribute act were the best of the entertainment from our point of view. Evening meals were average to poor - which was disappointing. Lunch in the Windjammer was good and we took breakfast in our cabin for 5 mornings after being placed at tables with non-English speaking guests on the first two mornings! Excursions were expensive and we did our own thing at Khasab (not developed into anything like a tourist destination yet), Muscat - would recommend the bustling and busy soug (remember to haggle over all prices!) which was 7 mins walk from the port gates and saved a $40 return taxi journey!, free bus into Abu Dhabi and also to Dubai. The last two have free wifi in the Port Terminals which can be accessed from the port side of the ship if you are lucky. Weather was great - although we had two cold days! Two formal dinners which most people respected and the rest were smart/casual. You were allowed to take a bottle of wine on the ship at the start of the cruise. BUt they don't know if your bottle is wine or not until you are called down to security to prove to hem it is wine and not hard liquor! Makes you feel a bit of a criminal until you prove your innocence, protesting slightly too defensively as well. Some what were the downsides - the constant hard sell of everything imaginable by Royal Caribbean - ultimate drinks packages - $57 each per day; non-alcoholic drinks package was also expensive when you already get free water, lemonade, tea, coffee and ice cream - internet packages - $15 per day; - specialty restaurants - most expensive one (Chiefs Table) - $70 each per meal; -Spa - a range of packages from £109 to $139 for each session; - Photography package -4129 for a pictures taken on the cruise as long as you buy by third day, so you don't know how the pics for the last 4 days might turn out; - DVD - $30; - Casino packages, watch & camera sales, shopping sales every night on Deck 5, laundry best package - £30 for a bag of washing. - $30 per person to visit the Galley (with brunch); And so it went on. The cheapest bottle of wine we could buy at evening meal time was $34. A decent bottle was about $50/65. Lastly - they offered a special package to 30 mins internet access at $10 to allow you to book your return flight online and access your boarding pass - 24 hours before you went home. But they omit to tell you that internet access is free at Dubai Port terminal, a mere 2 min walk from the ship with 24 hour access! Having avoided all the add ons - we really enjoyed the cruise - good to access winter sun, the good company of a number of people we met and excellent and hard working/committed staff. Leaving was fine - for us it was a 3.30am rise, quick shower, some light eats at Deck 9 (which they opened between 1.00am - 5.00am for us early travellers - very helpful), and bus to airport. Pity it took us to the wrong terminal. I reckon you will get excellent deals to do this cruise from now until April - enjoy it and avoid these annoying additional costs, which mostly were avoidable and unnecessary with a bit of thought/ingenuity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
After reading a few negative review about The Splendour Of The Seas we were beginning to regret booking our cruise. Yes the Staterooms are small, but what do people expect! This was our 15th Cruise and we have had larger Cabins but not by ... Read More
After reading a few negative review about The Splendour Of The Seas we were beginning to regret booking our cruise. Yes the Staterooms are small, but what do people expect! This was our 15th Cruise and we have had larger Cabins but not by very much. Other reviewers complained about the food however we found a good variety of food which was always served hot in both the Windjammer and the Dining Room. Check-in was flawless, less than 5 minutes and we were onboard. The King and I freestyle dining worked very well for us, we never waited more than couple of minutes to get a table and we found the staff very willing to please. The entertainment could have been better but we thoroughly enjoyed the guy in the Schooner Bar who was a very capable pianist and singer catering for all sorts of musical tastes. Overall we had a relaxing and enjoyable time and wouldn't hesitate about doing this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We decided not to travel far this Christmas, being a UAE resident boarding the cruise on Dec 19th was easy as it was a simple taxi journey from home which was very convenient. Suite check in was fine just a short queue which took approx. ... Read More
We decided not to travel far this Christmas, being a UAE resident boarding the cruise on Dec 19th was easy as it was a simple taxi journey from home which was very convenient. Suite check in was fine just a short queue which took approx. 15mins. Luggage arrive very timely about half an hour after we arrived in our room 8070 JS. The Suite was smaller than what we are used to having just been on the Allure of the Seas around the Med, so next time for 3 adults I will book a suite and an additional room. The ship is quite dated but I found all the rooms, common areas etc clean but the ship does show its age in some areas. The shows were not great as was the karaoke due to very limited entrants so we skipped the entertainment after giving it 20 mins or so. Schooner bar was the busiest bar on the ship with great entertainment from 10pm with a chap who played Piano, there was a carol service in the auditorium on Christmas eve which was well attended but the ship is too small for large crowds but it was well planned and delivered. Although there was one large Christmas tree, a bit of holly in the main dining room and a nice nativity display I thought the ship could have been decorated more to make the atmosphere more 'Christmassy'. Did not bother with the Windjammer or for fee restaurants, we dined very well in the King and I on deck 5, we had a fabulous service from Devkumar and his team. Food variety and quality was fine although I must admit and agree looking at other reviews the US Christmas dinner is not the same as the UK. The casino is ok quite small with no bar, drinks service can be slow. Viking lounge was ok again quite small and the only area to host a nightclub which did not allow under 18's in after 11pm so as a parent of a 17 year old we struggled to find somewhere decent after 11pm, the schooner bar is always packed. Bar service through the day was hit and miss I was not sure which bars were open or closed, generally I think the bars lacked staff, wait time was quite long on many occasions particularly in the Casino and the Schooner. The mix of nationalities was good, lots of Europeans, we met some very nice people some who had cruised often and some first timers. As long term residents in the Gulf we did not get off the ship for excursions so I can not give comment in this area. I was happy with the cruise generally but pleased we did not travel to far to embark, for me the Mega ships are far more fun but the gulf cruise was adequate for a short local break. We are now moving to platinum members of RC but on reflection I am not sure what it means, the welcome back party was rubbish and I am yet to see any decent fare reductions for future cruises or any tangible benefits, going forward I am going to keep an open mind as to who we cruise with rather than build up points with RC. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Having read some very mixed reviews of this ship I was curious to form my own opinions and experience Splendour for myself. It always intrigues me how there can be so vastly differing reports of the same ship. I am pleased to say that my ... Read More
Having read some very mixed reviews of this ship I was curious to form my own opinions and experience Splendour for myself. It always intrigues me how there can be so vastly differing reports of the same ship. I am pleased to say that my experience was superb and fulfilled an ambition to cruise through the Suez Canal. From start to finish the ship and its outstanding crew did a great deal to make my experience memorable. Boarding at Venice could not have been easier, the ground staff helped me with my bags from the taxi and I was onboard the ship 15 minutes later. Virtually no line in the terminal. The muster drill was quick and painless and we departed as the sun was going down in very cold temperatures. First things first, if you like a drink (and I do) then buy the drinks package and forget about it. I found with around 4 drinks a day I would break even and was able to relax at the bars and enjoy good wines with my dinner. My Elite status with Celebrity transfers to Diamond status on Royal Caribbean which gained me access to the Crown and Anchor lounge event from 5pm until 8pm daily where we had the pleasure of being served by one of RCCLs very best bar tenders, Vinny. I ate breakfast each day and dinner every evening in the main dining room called The King and I. With the My Time dining I never waited for a table for more than a couple of minutes and, as friendships grew during the 16 day cruise ended up dining with a group of us at the same table. I think our group received some truly outstanding and special service from our waiters and we had some great conversations with the staff who were looking after us. The food was good, if not great but perfectly acceptable. Like other reviewers, I miss the lobster on the menu and don't much care for the extra charge items. However, if I was looking for consistently outstanding quality food the Royal Caribbean would not be my first choice. As usual, my stateroom attendant was superb and it never ceases to amaze me what these guys do, twice a day and manage to keep a smile on their faces. I used the laundry service wash and fold twice and they did a great job. I think packing as much laundry as possible into a paper bag is an art form and Royal Caribbean should have classes on the subject. The onboard entertainment was a mixed bag but two shows I particularly enjoyed were performed by Donimo and the juggler/comic whose name I don't recall. There seemed to be a fair amount of dance classes going on in the Centrum for those who like to participate. I thought the lecturer Geoffrey, got into his stride throughout the cruise and gave an interesting talk about the Suez Canal. I would have enjoyed a much more detailed account of the canal over a period of several days rather than a one off talk and perhaps with expert announcements of what we were seeing as we transited the canal. In this regard I have fond that Celebrity do a much better job. I have seen reports that the ship is tired and in poor condition, this could not be further from the truth. I found everything to be in perfect working order, immaculately clean and superbly maintained. I found it hard to believe the ship is 19 years old, that makes her a teenager - right? In fact she is an elegant and still beautiful lady who I grew very fond of during my 16 days. As many folks said during the captains event, there are many passengers who love the smaller ships and are not keen on the ever pressing drive towards massive ships with all the family activities. I am certainly one of those who enjoys some quiet rest time and the opportunity to read a good book without being drowned in noise. The Suez Canal was a spectacular event but the first 3 hours were in darkness. I assume the cruise companies don't have control over this because of the convoy system but it is around a 12 hour transit. I found the security efforts for the Gulf of Aden crossing to be very thorough and quite interesting. We were joined by external security/military folks who stayed with the ship until Muscat in Oman. Delivery of 'security equipment' in the Red Sea was interesting to watch. Our stops in Athens, Haifa, Ashdod and Salalah were all good and the final arrival in Dubai early in the morning spectacular. We had an overnight in the UAE giving time to explore Dubai which was good. All in all, a really excellent cruise and if my review persuades you to consider joining the Splendour of the Seas prior to her departure from Royal Caribbean in April, you will be sure to enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Had a magnificent time for the 16 night Suez Canal Cruise. All of the ports were amazing! From Venice (breathtaking), Athens (Historic and Educational) to Israel (Spiritual, Riveting and inspiring), Suez Canal (Man made beauty), Oman ... Read More
Had a magnificent time for the 16 night Suez Canal Cruise. All of the ports were amazing! From Venice (breathtaking), Athens (Historic and Educational) to Israel (Spiritual, Riveting and inspiring), Suez Canal (Man made beauty), Oman (Pleasant Surprise) and Dubai (The Capital of Excess), I LOVED THEM ALL!!! Met some great people aboard Splendour and my cabin Steward (Joseph) and many of the wait staff that I met were amazing. Felt like old friends. Just a really great cruise. Although I must note... the activities on Splendour were below par. There just wasn't nearly enough to do. It was catered to all old people. Ship days were quite boring sometimes. Thankfully I love to read and had a few books. My cabin (junior suite) was perfect. I wouldn't have wanted to do such a long cruise especially with the lack of activities in a small room. My floor (8th) was always quiet as well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I had fun on my first Royal Caribbean cruise. I found the staff to be really pleasant and professional. The first day the housekeeping lady introduced herself to me and gave me her card. The room was always kept clean and tidy . The ... Read More
I had fun on my first Royal Caribbean cruise. I found the staff to be really pleasant and professional. The first day the housekeeping lady introduced herself to me and gave me her card. The room was always kept clean and tidy . The weather wasn't so good we didn't leave Venice until early morning . So we had to skip Dubrovnik . I and many others were disappointed but you can blame RC for the weather . So that meant two days at sea , I didn't mind there was plenty of things to keep me occupied . The shows were good , The cruise director staff were friendly . I had a lot of fun . The food was nice , I enjoyed breakfast in the king and I restaurant . The windjammer was nice for lunch could have done with a few more choices but it was nice . The first port was Rhodes , I did a walking tour it was ok but was left thinking is that it . Could have done with more ports of call but It was a good first cruise . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We have just been on a cruise with the Splendour of the Seas - 7 nights 'Greek Isles & Turkey Cruise' from Venice November 7 to 14, 2015. Itinerary: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Rhodes, Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Split, ... Read More
We have just been on a cruise with the Splendour of the Seas - 7 nights 'Greek Isles & Turkey Cruise' from Venice November 7 to 14, 2015. Itinerary: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Rhodes, Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Split, Croatia; and back to Venice. We did 'Do it yourself' excursions in Dubrovnik (took a shuttle from the dock to the Old Town), Rhodes (Walking distance) and Split (walking distance). organised For Ephesus we had purchased an excursion through RCI, but you can also just take a taxi from Kusadasi (30 minutes). Despite the late time of the year, we had a fantastic weather on the trip. Splendour of the Seas is a Vision-class cruise ship. She was commenced on March 31, 1996. In March 2015, Royal Caribbean agreed to sell Splendour of the Seas to TUI Cruises, which planned to lease the vessel to Thomson Cruises. The final sailing for Royal Caribbean departing on April 4, 2016 for a 16 Night Suez Canal Cruise from Dubai to Venice. She'll be renamed Thomson Discovery and be based in Palma starting in June 2016. Splendour of the Seas did meet our expectation, however some of the crew members had mentally left the ship. My review will primarily focus on the itinerary and the ports rather than the ship. Travel to Venice We always travel the day before and Friday we had a flight at 6:50pm - Lufthansa via Frankfurt to Venice. When we arrived the flight was canceled - flight attendants in Frankfurt on strike. We quickly changed our reservation for a Lufthansa flight on Saturday morning - also via Frankfurt and got a room at the Hilton Airport Hotel - as well as dinner and breakfast - at Lufthansa's expense. At 8pm it was announced that all flights in and out of Frankfurt on Saturday was canceled. Thanks to Scandinavian Airlines, we managed to get a flight via Berlin to Venice with SAS and Alitalia. Unfortunately, with rather late arrival in Venice - and therefore the risk that we may not be able to reach the cruise ship before 3:30pm which is the last time for check-in. We have just an hour to get our luggage and a taxi to the cruise ship. Originally we had planned to take a water bus (Alilaguna) from airport to Cruise terminal, but due to the late arrival we had to take a taxi. Quickly we found a taxi that drove to the 20 minutes to the cruise terminal. Day 1 - Departure from Venice We arrived at the Splendour of the Seas at 3:15pm - a 'quarter before closing time' - but we were definitely not the last to arrive! We got an aft cabin - larger than normal cabins with a balcony much bigger - a really nice cabin. Immediately after we had boarded was the 'Muster drill' where we had to go to our lifeboat at deck 4 and get instructions on life jackets and lifeboats. At 6pm we sailed from Venice - a spectacular sight as we passed St. Mark's Square. At 7pm we went down for a drink in the lounge and at 8pm we got dinner in the Chops Grill - one of 'specialty restaurants' - which was a welcome aboard deals. A nice dinner. Day 2 - Dubrovnik, Croatia After breakfast, we sat on the balcony and followed the entrance to Dubrovnik. We docked at noon. After lunch we took a shuttle bus the four km from the cruise terminal to the old town. We bought the transfer at the ship for € 12 pp - cheaper than a taxi. Dubrovnik, known for the old town there is a pedestrian area with straight streets. The town has several churches, monasteries, and the Old Town Hall, from the period year 1200-1600. The city is surrounded by a very well-preserved city wall, which is 2 km long, 25 m high and most places 6 m thick. There are four gates into the city - we went through 'Pile Gate' (top picture). In the wall there are many towers and two high corner fortresses. We started with a walk around the city walls, a lot of stairs up and down, and incredible views of the city churches and houses and the sea from the high wall. We went all around the city on the wall. After the wall went for a walk around town and looked at the churches and streets - an incredibly clean city. Late afternoon we took the shuttle back to the ship. After a drink at the bar, we got dinner in the restaurant ´King & I'. Day 3 - At Sea We sailed south, along the coast of Greece - towards Rhodes. Today we were at sea all day in beautiful weather - 22 C and calm sea. The clock was put forward by one hour in the night, and it was obvious that everyone was a bit later for breakfast. We chose to eat breakfast on the balcony. This morning we read the daily newspaper on our iPad's - network is not as fast as on the Quantum Class of ship but after some time we managed to download the newspaper. After lunch we set out again on the balcony - the sun was shining and the weather was lovely. It was 'formal night' - first captain's welcome in the center and then dinner in the restaurant. After dinner we walked round the ship, to the shops in Centrum, listened to music and had a glass of wine in the bar before bedtime Day 4 - Rhodes We followed the arrival to Rhodes from the upper deck, and 11am went we ashore in Rhodes town (walking distance). At the port are a number of beautiful old windmills and behind them a 4 km of preserved town walls that encircle the old town. The town lies on the island's northern tip and is surrounded by sea on three sides. The old town is just 5 minutes walk from the port. The city is like a large fortress, and is untouched the last 400 years. We walked through the old narrow streets and looked at the city's sights. The highlight is the Palace of Grand Master of Knights, which was built in the 1300s and is today the city's landmarks. From the Palace Grand Master leads the The Street of the Knights, down to the archaeological museum. The street is considered one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe. The Turkish part of the town is also interesting, including Soliman mosque that was built when the Turks conquered Rhodes in 1522. Back on the ship we ate lunch and read on the balcony overlooking the city of Rhodes. We ate dinner already at 6pm when there was "welcome back" reception. A glass of champagne and the latest news on Royal Caribbean Cruising. Then there was show in the Centrum - 'The East Coast Boys'. We ended the evening with a glass of wine in Scooner Bar. Day 5 - Trip to Ephesus Arrived to Kusadasi in Turkey in the morning. We were on tour (through the ship) in the morning to Ephesus on Turkey's west coast 30 minutes from the harbour of Kusadasi, located almost off the Greek island of Samos. In ancient times, Ephesus was a rich city of great religious and commercial importance. The town was built in the valley between two mountains. It was located on the important silk route between Rome and the Orient. In ancient Ephesus was a city that was at the river Kaystros' estuary, but today is a town about 10 km from the coast. According to ancient legends, the city was founded in 1100 BC by King Androklos from Athens. In the 500s, the port of Ephesus destroyed by mud from the river, and the city's economic importance decreased rapidly. The inhabitants fled due to malaria and since the city was buried in mud. Today, about 20% of the original Ephesus excavated (pictures) - streets paved with marble and ruins of the merchants' houses, temples and theaters. Back in Kusadasi we visited a factory that makes carpets of wool, cotton and silk - interesting to see how silk threads are extracted from the butterfly pupae how the rugs are hand-knotted and hear about and see the different qualities. After lunch we enjoyed the sun and a cup of coffee on the balcony. At 5pm we followed the exit from Kusadasi from our balcony and 6pm there was dinner in the 'King & I' dining room. After dinner we had a drink in the lounge and at 9pm we saw a Production Show with 'Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers' - Dancin' Thru the Movies - as usual a great show with good music, dancing and singing. Day 6 - At Sea It was a really nice day of sun on the balcony in the morning - the deck chairs are put into position! After breakfast we enjoyed the sun - late morning we had arranged a meeting with 'Next Cruise' to get a deal on a cruise to New England next year. After lunch, even a little sun and coffee on the balcony. We got dinner at 6pm in Chops Grille and immediately thereafter, there was a welcome back reception for the guests who had traveled most of Royal Caribbean - this was our cruise no. 25, but there were many cruisers with multiple cruises. We walked around the ship and completed the evening with an aerial show in the Centrum. Day 7 - Split in Croatia Now we felt that we had come a little further north. The wind was cooler. The captain had put the ship in the harbor so we had morning sun on our balcony. After breakfast we prioritized the sun on our balcony instead of Split. After lunch we went to the old town - 10 minutes walk from the cruise port. Split was originally built as a castle in the year 300 but it was 400 years later transformed into a city. An elegant promenade with palm trees (picture). We walked around town looking at the sights. An old town with very narrow streets, palaces and church walled. Back on the ship, we got a coffee and then we went around a bit. A glass of wine before dinner. After dinner, we decided on a manhattan cocktail in the lounge before the suitcases were packed. The suitcases were outside the door before 11pm, so they could be amassed during the night. Saturday - from the cruise ship to the airport We were up at 7:30am and ready for breakfast at 8:30. There was the usual "return chaos" in the Windjammer Cafe. We found a good seat on the pool deck. However, a little cool. The weather is not as good as at the departure from Venice. As there was plenty of time for our flight departure from Venice Marco Polo airport, we had decided to take the 1 h 40 min Alilaguna water bus from the cruise terminal to the Venice Marco Polo airport. We did miss that opportunities at cruise start due to very late arrival. We had an excellent boat from the cruise terminal to the airport. When we arrived at the airport we could see the great advantage of being SAS gold card customer. There was a long line at check in, but we could put us in the very short business class queue. Also we had 'fast track' access through the security check and got lunch in the Lufthansa lounge. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We sailed on Splendour of the Seas and I must say I was really pleasantly surprised. We had read some pretty "not so great" reviews here on Cruise Critic and were quite concerned we had made a mistake. As it turned out, we did ... Read More
We sailed on Splendour of the Seas and I must say I was really pleasantly surprised. We had read some pretty "not so great" reviews here on Cruise Critic and were quite concerned we had made a mistake. As it turned out, we did not. The cruise was everything we hoped it would be and more. This was our first every cruise and my wife was not very optimistic, but by the second day she was saying , "when we make our next cruise, we need to do this and this". Trust me for my wife, that's a great sign she was happy. Embarkation was very smooth. We stayed in Venice Mestre the night before and took Bus #2 from in front of our hotel to the Pizzale Roma. Total cost was 3 Euro for the two of us. Then we took the people mover to the port. Much cheaper than a taxi-but beware the bus gets crowded. Once at the port, we were in and out very quickly and on our way up to the ship. RCI did the process very well. We came early and ate lunch on the ship while the rooms were being made ready. The bags showed up soon after we came into the room. Good so far. We took time to explore the ship, have a drink and wait for the sailaway. Venice is a neat port to leave from because of what you see as the ship transits to the open sea. I used to be in the Navy so I was fascinated watching the ship get underway. This was the first time I had been on a ship at sea in almost 20 years. The excitement comes back quick. The shows on the ship were good. Not Broadway-but professionally done nonetheless. The highlight was a Frankie Vallee tribute band they brought aboard that performed wonderfully. But ever time we went to the theater on the ship we left happy. Many people complained about the food before. I thought it was fine-but again its about adjusting expectations. This is hotel food and for hotel food I thought it was quite good. Again perhaps its from being in the Navy, but I was not expecting an intimate restaurant-but our experiences in both main dining room and Windjammer were positive and we ate well. I was concerned about the fact that the ship is being sold to Thomson next year. However, it was clear to us that the crew was determined to take the ship out in style-and while Splendour is almost 20 years old, you could not tell it. She was well taken care of and her crew worked hard and provided great service. For complaints, I can list just two and they are both minor. 1) The ship, twice cut an hour off each side of the originally advertised itinerary. For example in Katakalon the advertised departure time was 1730. It left at 1630 and on board time was 1600. The arrival time was similarly later 0930 vice 0900. I suspect tides had something to do with this, judging by the mud the ship kicked up departing-but still, tides are well known in advance. I don't mind that they had these times-but had I known earlier I would have planned some shore things differently. Other complaint was also minor, seating availability in the Windjammer. The seats are there but people tended not to make seats open. That's not the ship's fault but by and large it meant earlier was better. We overcame by just brazenly asking people if we could join them. Met some really nice people that way. Shore excursions were fine-but overpriced. We did ship's excursion to Akortiri and OIA in Santorini. Not enough time in Oia and that's just a shame. Having three ships in port did not help. If I had to do it over again-I would just hop the boat out of the port and take the public bus back. In Kusadasi we used Ephesus Shuttle. The price was right, they were prompt and courteous and the tour was well done. Our guide Neel was very knowledgeable but it was hard to understand her English at times. She knew her stuff-but since I knew the history a lot more than wife did, I was more ok with it. She could have conveyed her points better but she did fine. When we said we did not want to go to carpet shops they were fine with it and took us straight back to the port. I recommend them as an alternative to the ship tours. Other than those minor complaints, it was awesome. The cabin was clean and well taken care of by the attendant, who IMHO took good care of the room. We had My Time dining which was a concern-but as it turned out they gave us the same table each night at the different times we asked for, and we never waited more than a couple of minutes to get seated. Kudos to the waiter Dragosh who made the experience of dinner a good memory. Don't do the specialty restaurants. We went to Izumi to get something different-my Japanese wife was not impressed. ( food was fine, just I think we could have used the money better elsewhere). In summary, Royal Caribbean did well. Many people have complained about the up-selling RCI does and they do, but it wasn't "in your face". Reminded me of a casino in a way-just have to remind yourself that in the end you are in control. The activities were fun during the at sea days-event eh quizzes and dance lessons. We tried to take it all in and we enjoyed the experience a lot. Can't say enough about the attitude of the Splendour's crew. They really were good. I would cruise again with RCI and Splendour of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I really enjoyed my cruise. The ship was Splendor of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) that left from Venice and went to Montenegro, Athens, and several Greek Isles. The ship is smaller than the others in the fleet but I liked that. It ... Read More
I really enjoyed my cruise. The ship was Splendor of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) that left from Venice and went to Montenegro, Athens, and several Greek Isles. The ship is smaller than the others in the fleet but I liked that. It didn't take forever to get around. It was an easy walk to anywhere on the ship. The cabin was a typical cabin size but met our needs. No surprises except they had a body wash dispenser in the shower. The cabin steward was friendly and left towel animals on three nights. There were plenty of activities fun and entertaining shows except late night. If you didn't want to dance there wasn't much to do. It would have been nice if they had movies in the room. Other ships have that so I'm not sure why this ship didn't. There was plenty of food. Like most ships if you want a fancy steak or lobster you have to pay extra and to the restaurants on ship (that charge way too much -- we didn't go). The food was good but not outstanding. The biggest disappointment was the desserts. They were sweet but had little distinguishable flavors. The Crème Burlee was runny (I could make it better). The Baklava on Greek night didn't have honey. We found wonderful bakeries in the ports. Maybe the pastry chef needs to take lessons from the Greek bakers. We took three tours from the cruise. The one in Agrostoli was the best. It was a visit to the caves, a cooking lesson, and a wine tasting. This is a new tour and it was delicious. The Athens tour was information with three hours to explore on our own. The bus tour in Montenegro was long. We drove up the huge mountain which was a bit scary in a bus, and had lunch at the top with wine (I asked what kind of cheese they were serving and the answer was "cow.") Too long a drive for my tastes. I'd take a different tour or explore on your own. The staff was excellent. Very helpful and nice (at times too helpful. . .just let me enjoy my meal . . . I don't need you to fawn over me). The Spa was terrific. I had the best facial I ever had from Katie in the spa. I could really see a difference in the fine lines on my face when she was done. The hot tubs weren't nearly hot enough nor did they have enough bubbles. The cookies at the Café were good but they were the same every night. Would have like a variety. But I'm nitpicking here. All in all it was a great cruise and I enjoyed myself greatly. I would take a Royal C. cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Having cruised with other cruise lines, this was our first with Royal Caribbean on the Splendour of the Seas. On arrival at the terminal in Gatwick, we were met by a rep, and quickly checked in without any wait. On arrival at Venice we ... Read More
Having cruised with other cruise lines, this was our first with Royal Caribbean on the Splendour of the Seas. On arrival at the terminal in Gatwick, we were met by a rep, and quickly checked in without any wait. On arrival at Venice we were again met by reps, and although a short walk to the coach, we were quickly on our way to the cruise terminal. Embarkation was quick and easy and we were on board in no time at all. Our cabin was not available until 1pm, but this was no problem as we had lunch and explored the ship. We were very impressed with the ship. We had opted for My Time dining, and this worked really well, we got a table each night at the time we requested. The food and service were very good indeed, you would have to be a really fussy eater not to find something on the menu. We ate in Chops Grille one night, although there was a $30 charge for this, the steak, service and atmosphere was well worth it. The food in the King and I and the Windjammer restaurants was of very good quality too, with plenty of choice. We really enjoyed the ports we visited, Kotor was amazing, Corfu we'd been to before, Mykonos was lovely, Athens manic but well worth it, we did the hop on hop off bus just outside the cruise terminal rather than pay for the ships tours, which we thought were quite expensive. We also felt most things on board you had to pay for were overpriced. It is true there was a fire on board, but we personally felt it was handled correctly and couldn't fault the staff in any way. We were on deck two so weren't allowed back in our cabins for a while after the fire was put out. Immediately we could go back the staff were washing down the walls and doors to remove the soot from the smoke. We did receive compensation for this ($300) but couldn't understand why some people on deck 8, who hadn't had to evacuate their cabins, received $400. However, this was a very enjoyable cruise and I would certainly sail with Royal Caribbean again, this ship is being sold to Thomson next year. In terms of entertainment, I thought the theatre shows very mediocre, but the aerial display was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The 5 in our party (aged 18 to 54) were either first time or second time cruisers only so we don't have a lot to compare Splendour of the Seas with other than 3 of us had the one cruise on the larger NCL Norewegian Epic. All 5 of ... Read More
The 5 in our party (aged 18 to 54) were either first time or second time cruisers only so we don't have a lot to compare Splendour of the Seas with other than 3 of us had the one cruise on the larger NCL Norewegian Epic. All 5 of us enjoyed our cruise on Splendour, especially as we were aware it is billed as an older ship that is being sold on by RCI. While the Epic was a very enjoyable cruise we did find that with Splendour being a samller ship things felt more relaxed and my wife and I would definitely be in the same camp as those who favour the "smaller ships" as opposed to the modern very large ships. As a Cruise Critic member I was very conscious of some fairly poor reviews on Splendour although the cruise and ship was personally recommended to us by other family members. Our experience of travel with the organised RCLI transfer from the airport at Venice to embarkation was chaotic at times and mostly fairly confusing for us.This was probably the most disappointing aspect of our cruise package holiday. All in all we found the ship very attractive, clean, cabins fairly comfortable (although definitely a bit worn), staff generally good (some very good and some less so). Food was excellent, especially in the King and I restaurant (My Time Dining). Some entertainment was very good but some was mediocre and some poor so overall I would score the entertainment as just about average.Certainly on the NCL Epic entertainment was way superior. Ports of call were beautiful, albeit we just done local walk arounds ourselves. There was a wide variety of clientel on board, including young families, teenagers, singles, older generation and quite an obvious number of same sex couples. For us this was a memorable family holiday (our 18 year old had a ball) which we all thoroughly enjoyed so thankyou to the Splendour. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Enjoyed my weeks cruise on splendour of the seas from venice, taking in dubrovnik,ephesus,santorini,olympia all great tours well organised. Must admit enjoy the bigger ships more went on the liberty of the seas last time and the main ... Read More
Enjoyed my weeks cruise on splendour of the seas from venice, taking in dubrovnik,ephesus,santorini,olympia all great tours well organised. Must admit enjoy the bigger ships more went on the liberty of the seas last time and the main events on the ship seemed less crowded, also the white night they have by the pool on splendour was just music, on the liberty they had a massive BBQ With ice sculptures etc. Apart from these 2 things everything was of the quality you get from Royal Caribbean.The all inclusive package was fantastic dont believe the negative things you read about it like you cant have free drinks when you are in port and you still get charged a service charge, we had the basic package included in the holiday cost, choice of 14 bottled beers and Heinikin on draught and any wine upto $9 and the superb non alcoholic coctails with a massive choice frozen or unfrozen.we did not get charged a penny extra it was all free !. You can upgrade at anytime during your cruise to a better package and just one person can do it if your wifes happy with the basic package. If like me you are catching a taxi back to marco polo airport from the port it costs 45 euros but note if theres 8 of you its still 45 euros so share with other people if you can. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The Splendour was a wonderful vacation through the Med! I went with my 10 year old daughter and we were both comfortable in our balcony room on the 7th floor. The food in the Windjammer was awesome each night! The Izumi Japanese restaurant ... Read More
The Splendour was a wonderful vacation through the Med! I went with my 10 year old daughter and we were both comfortable in our balcony room on the 7th floor. The food in the Windjammer was awesome each night! The Izumi Japanese restaurant was an incredible experience as well! We enjoyed the smaller ship because there was great attention to the passengers and the overall ship itself. It was easy to get around the ship and to get on and off each port was easy with no problems. The staff were all kind and attentive. The ship is obviously older but this was not a concern to us. We just enjoyed what it had to offer. We recommend this ship for a great vacation without the extras of the larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Our group of seven ranged in age from 8-67 years and all have been on cruises before. We found the ship friendly and easy to get around. We never do ship arranged excursions as we prefer to find our own transportation out of port due to ... Read More
Our group of seven ranged in age from 8-67 years and all have been on cruises before. We found the ship friendly and easy to get around. We never do ship arranged excursions as we prefer to find our own transportation out of port due to more reasonable prices. All ports were easy to access and return from except for Santorini which was a GONG SHOW! This is to be expected (somewhat) due to the fact that it is high on a cliff but we waited up top in a long hot line for over an hour (2 hrs before the posted final tender) in order to get on the gondola to come down. Some travellers were too hot in the line so decided to walk and two broke their ankles on the trip down. Maybe they need to limit the number of ships in at once. Three was clearly too many the island to handle! The other ports were wonderful but the Santorini experience crushed all my visions of what I'm sure is a beautiful island in off season. Positives - staff was friendly and the entertainment team was hilarious. Kids club for ages 6-8 was great and our daughter couldn't wait to participate. We don't normally do the buffet but this one was really very good! Our dining room attendant Leonard was very good! He was helpful in suggesting the best dishes and never led us astray.....and we love our food! The pool area was fun and there was always a lot going on. Negatives - overpriced drinks! I know it is Europe so I expect to pay more but prices on the Disney cruise were cheaper! They wanted $14 for a Bacardi rum and coke. You could get top shelf for that price on Disney. The teen club was TERRIBLE. Our son (13) gets along with everyone and is always eager to go to the teen clubs on ships but this one was dead! He went to the start of every event for the first two days and nobody ever showed up. They need to do more to encourage young teens to attend early on so that the club gets going....prizes or something. Carnival and Disney have way better teen clubs that were always packed! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Having not been on a ship this small or as old in many years I was wondering what this would be like. Well the ship had been modernized a few years ago and was probably in better shape than many of the ships 10 year younger. It never felt ... Read More
Having not been on a ship this small or as old in many years I was wondering what this would be like. Well the ship had been modernized a few years ago and was probably in better shape than many of the ships 10 year younger. It never felt crowded on this ship even though the boat was full. The staff was very personable and the best activities were those put on by the crew! Boarding, Tenders and Disembarking-No problems whatsoever, it was very smooth and we had our luggage in record time. Tenders were super efficient fast. Ports of Call-Each port was so different it was hard to judge one over the other. The best port stop was Corfu and the least favorite was Athens. Food- This was the first ship in many years that I can easily say the Windjammer was by far better (it was very high quality) than any I have seen the last 5 cruises, certainly better the dining room. The problem with the the dining room is the food cost cutting by Royal Caribbean (not related to the smaller portions which I support). The two best examples is the Tiger Shrimp Main Course was (4) shrimp about two inches long, my shrimp cocktail had the same size shrimp and more of them. Friday night the Seafood Platter looked and tasted like something out of the frozen food section of the grocery store. Also no more steak or lobster night however you can pay $35 additional for lobster any night you choose, which is more than the admission to Chops I believe. This is a huge disservice to their servers having to present things like this, working for extra tips. Entertainment-If it was a less formal event by the crew it was great, most formal shows (except the Comedy) was not good at all. Service-Overall this crew all the way up to the captain were always available, very proud of their ship (they should be it was well kept) and very friendly. With all the personal service, attention to detail and overall quality of the cruise, it will be hard to go back to a mega ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We just returned from our cruise on Splendour of the Seas. The ship was small, but well maintained. We were overly impressed with the staff on the ship. We definitely prefer larger ships, but in Europe there just isn't much time to ... Read More
We just returned from our cruise on Splendour of the Seas. The ship was small, but well maintained. We were overly impressed with the staff on the ship. We definitely prefer larger ships, but in Europe there just isn't much time to enjoy the ship anyway. Some of the things we really enjoyed about the ship included: -Rock climbing wall -1/4mile jogging track -Good food in Windjammer cafe -Friendly staff Some of the things we didn't love include: -No more steak & lobster on formal nights - now they want to charge $40! -Dinner food was just alright...it wasn't bad, but wasn't great. Ports: Croatia - AMAZING! We loved everything about Croatia. We tend to DIY all ports and this was definitely one to do. We did take the ships Shore Excursion to town on the bus. It dropped you off in the main area and would return as the bus was full. We walked up to the cable car and then wandered around the Old Town. Would highly recommend both. Easy to do, but a lot of walking. Tons of fun shops and restaurants in Old Town, although I would recommend eating at the restaurant at the top by the cable car. Can't beat the view! Venice was beautiful and interesting, but don't plan to wander around without a map as you will get lost. The water buses were awesome and easy to navigate. The shops are decent, but I didn't find Venice to be as interesting as Rome - not as many "sites" to see. Santorini - always our favorite. This time we rented a car from Tony's (highly recommend) and went up to Oia, which is the most beautiful place we have ever been. Then we went to lunch in Fira and continued down to the winery and the red beach. The views are always amazing and the food in Santorini is great. Kudasasi - this was our 2nd time here, but first time to go to Ephesus. We took a taxi as it was less than half the price of the ships shore excursion. We didn't really know what we were seeing, but it was very interesting and definitely a place to see! They do have audio sets and guides you could use at the main entrance. Olympia - quite disappointing as the ruins were not even remotely as good as Ephesus. We wandered around and saw the museam. In general, if you aren't a museam person and don't like shore excursions, this would be a place I would skip. We did rent a car because we wanted more flexibility and didn't want to deal with the 10e transport right outside the port. After Olympia we did stop by some beaches that were beautiful! If I were to return, I would definitely head to the beach. Overall, great cruise and I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Was our first cruise. So can only talk absolute, not relative! Was a good ship with neat well planned cabins. Efficient housekeeping would keep them clean. TV channels extremely limited and could have more on offer.bathrooms in cabin ... Read More
Was our first cruise. So can only talk absolute, not relative! Was a good ship with neat well planned cabins. Efficient housekeeping would keep them clean. TV channels extremely limited and could have more on offer.bathrooms in cabin are small but one can adjust easily in them. Port visits were refreshing. We took the ship offerred excursions for 3 ports while balance we went out our own. Food choices were many. Dinner was served with option menu cards and like a 4-5 star restaurant. Internet remained a challenge as priced high. Thus we grabbed free internet options as and when on port , typically by cafes Small heated pool was good to laze in . While tea coffee was available 24x7 almost, coke wasnt free flowing. Entertainment was really good - evening shows in a large auditorium were great. Saw "Beatles" in action , with their typ dress et al. Played TT and surprisingly table was as smooth as one gets on stable land! Interestingly I could win a global champion medal in a Ship organised contest. Boarding process went smooth and our advise to all reach early :6-9 hours ahead is fine. A live casino with slot machines was a hot favorite with many. Tried, lost and thus retreated back in our shells. Evenings we could pursue our walks on the long walking track on top deck. A mini golf practise area helped us to swing our arms when we felt like it. In short , the Cruise is worth a repeat!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
-Before the Cruise: First time in Venice and very happy that we used AirBnB for our accommodations. Spent two nights in an apartment we shared with another couple we know that were going on the cruise with us. About $180 per night for two ... Read More
-Before the Cruise: First time in Venice and very happy that we used AirBnB for our accommodations. Spent two nights in an apartment we shared with another couple we know that were going on the cruise with us. About $180 per night for two bedroom apartment that was a couple of blocks away from the Rialto bridge. The person who met up with us to provide us the keys also gave us a map of the city with lots of great advice. Highly recommend getting an all day water bus card and taking it as much as possible. There is a lot of walking, but the sights are amazing. The city tends to empty out after 7 PM, and the streets felt safe to walk around at night. Many stores do not open until 9-10 AM, so enjoy sleeping in before breakfast. We felt two days was enough time to see the highlights of the city. Ended up skipping the gondola ride due to the $100 Euro cost. It did look like a great photo opportunity but not very useful for quick transportation. When in a hurry find a water taxi (About $30-45 Euros). Also suggest going to Lido beach! Very pretty. Day 1 - Arrived at the terminal and had an easy check in process. We are Emerald, going on to Diamond status soon, so we had the short line. Our room was 8086, a junior suite in the middle, aft of the ship. First year with the bigger room, and while it provided an AMAZING view of all the ports, we didn't really need the extra space. It was nice to have a bathtub, but it offers less head room then the tiny shower in the other rooms. My husband, 6 foot 2 inches tall, could not stand up straight in the shower due to lack of room. The larger bed and balcony was very enjoyable. The ship was very clean and well maintained. Staff was very friendly. Our room attendant was Ricardo, who did an excellent job. Food was up to the normal Royal standards, which we were happy about. Day 2 - First stop Koto Montenegro - Tiny town with a large city wall. Many cafes and shops to check out. We stopped for drinks. Beer and wine was $1-3 Euros each. Many cats walking around that were entertaining. We paid our $3 Euro each and began to walk to the city wall. Due to the high UV rays myself and the other lady in our party decided to head back to the ship. Our husbands continued the journey to the top of the wall, in sandals. They stopped at the church halfway up where they had local handmade jewelry for sale. At the top they had excellent views of the city and the cruise ship. The short day there was enough time to see the highlights of this small city. Day 3 - Corfu Greece - The main part of the city was a short taxi ride away ($10 Euros each way). We began strolling through the city roads checking out the various stores with local goods. Found a cafe (with free wifi) and had some coffee. Continued walking and located a large fortress. Paid the $3 Euros to enter. Inside was many places to explore, with a cafe (more wifi) and clean restrooms. And the end was amazing views of the ocean!! Went back through town and stopped at Velvet, an awesome ladies clothing store. Purchased a gorgeous dress with pearls and stones around the collar for $100 Euros (I would have paid at least $200 back in Los Angeles). Returned to the ship with great photos and some new purchases. Would suggest skipping the shopping in order to see more of the city. Not enough time there. Day 4 - Athens - Booked "A Taste of Athens" from the cruise ship. Loaded onto the air conditioned bus and took off. We spent about half the day on the bus and the other half outside. The sun was very strong, but we had many places to find shade/air conditioning. The 8 hours we had is not enough time to see everything, so we had to drive past a few places. Spent our free time at the Acropolis grabbing lunch at the cafe inside the museum, and then going through the museum. The artifacts inside are amazing. Our tour guide was not very knowledgeable, but the sights made up for her lack of inteligence. Got some great pictures. Day 5 - Mykonos - My favorite stop. We booked the Ancient Delios tour from the ship. The winds and sea was a little rough that day. We took our tender to the shore, and then got onto another boat to head to Delios. The drive to the island takes about 45 minutes or longer. It seemed many passengers were feeling a little sea sick on the way there. At the island we had a guided tour who had a lot of information to share. The tour did move very very slow, and there many other tour groups strolling around. We had about 1-2 hours of free time where we quickly used the restroom and then hiked up onto the hill. Many of the ruins are open, with paths leading right up to them. We felt adventurous and began to climb up and down and through the buildings we found. No one seemed to care what we were doing, and we made sure not distribute anything. Would suggest watching out for spiders if you going off the main paths. Went back to the main town and had more free time before the final tender. Choose to eat some lunch, and then check out the shops. The further you get away from the main part of town the cooler the buildings, restaurants and shops are. If you want great food stay away from the main city street and choose something away from the main crowds. Overall great day. It was warm again, but the sun wasn't too bad. It rained on us when we were returning to the ship. Day 6 - Argostoli - We did the Messalini Cave Tour through the ship. The bus ride there took a long time, and went through very twisted canyon roads. The line to get into the cave was long, but went by fast. About 10 people are shuffled onto the small boats, and you go in a small circle for about 10 minutes. The water and view is amazing. Nothing else to see at this stop, so you are shuffled back onto the bus. Our bus stopped at a small city on the way back where we got some snacks from the cafe. Then stopped again at an overlook that provided amazing views of the bright blue ocean. The water looks like a postcard. I personally ended up carsick due to the long ride through the canyons. I would suggest bringing some motion sickness medications and some food to snack on. Day 7 - We were at sea. The ship had a few things going on during the day. We played bingo and didn't win anything. Enjoyed the relaxing day. Day 8 - Time to head to the airport. Getting off the ship was easy. We had planned to take the "People Mover" a tram back over to the bus pickup area, but changed our minds (Total cost would have been about $10 a person). We had lots of luggage, it was super hot again, and some us were not feeling good (caught a cold). So we grabbed a taxi for about $45 Euros and zipped back to the airport. The airport is very tiny, but we found some great restaurants on the second floor once we passed through security. I was briefly pulled aside while going through security. They wanted to take a closer look at my bag. They were very respectful, and quick. Overall, I would take this same cruise again. The history was amazing. It was incredible to be standing and seeing things as old as 900 BC. I was really impressed with all of the stops. On the ship we did try the three speciality restaurants due to a deal they were offering ($99 per person for all three). The Sushi place was good. I would place it in the same category as my local sushi place in Los Angeles. The service was really slow, but the chef tried to make up for it with additional free food. The hot rock was not that impressive, but everything tasted good. Best part was no one was sick off the food (always a plus with Sushi). Chops Grill is just like any other high end steak restaurant. The view was great during sunset from our table. Service was good too. We tried a variety of items and liked everything except dessert. I'm lactose intolerant so I ordered the cookies and they looked like they came from the buffet. Everyone else enjoyed their other desserts, it was just the cookies that were sad looking. We also tried the Chef's table. I did not enjoy the location as it was in the center of the main dining room and sounded like we were in a cafeteria. The chef would explain each meal, and it was hard to hear him. We started at 6:30 PM with drinks and walked away about 11 PM. At one point it felt like it was a cooking class as the chef would go into great detail of how the food was prepared. Each course came with a a new wine. All of the food was excellent, but only a few items seemed above the normal standards for the main dining room. I was expecting to be a little more impressed. I had noted my lactose intolerance days before the meal, and at first it seems like they did ok. As I drank multiple glasses of wine I ended up not noticing the cream in some of the food and ended up feeling a little sick the next day. Mostly my own fault as I know what I shouldn't eat, but was a little tipsy and missed it. Overall, the food was good. I would like to try the Chef's table on another ship that has its own room, as I feel it would add another level of "special" to this experience that we missed out on. We gave our feedback to our main dining room waiter, Kaveendra, and he informed the staff. The next day we had free champagne and an apology letter in our room. The staff always aims to please and is really awesome and problem solving. We did miss all of the shows due to our late dinner time and generally feeling tired. Not sure if they were good or not. This was my 9th cruise and my 8th cruise with Royal. I booked three more cruises while on this one so I am still a true fan of their services. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were four adults who planned this trip just a few months before leaving, so we did not have a lot of time for planning and this was the start of the busy season in Europe. Royal Caribbean arranged our flight from USA with Choice Air and ... Read More
We were four adults who planned this trip just a few months before leaving, so we did not have a lot of time for planning and this was the start of the busy season in Europe. Royal Caribbean arranged our flight from USA with Choice Air and this was a good decision. We booked a place which is called a hotel but is actually an apt. called Ca' dell'arte Suite with two bedrooms, but only 1 bath on first level. It was like climbing a mountain to get up the stairs to enter the apt. However I realize this is not unusual for Europe. I do not recommend it for anyone with difficulties climbing stairs. It included a small kitchen which was nice and to have the somewhat larger refrigerator than what is found in a hotel room. Being four females the bathroom can be a little crowded, but all in all the place was very clean and comfortable. We had booked a tour with Nadia Danesin from Friend in Venice tours for the afternoon after arriving in the morning. This would have worked out well if it had not been raining non-stop. Even though we had a map we had difficulty finding the apt because no one in Venice goes by addresses and everything is just 3 minutes away from where ever you are. It was difficult getting around in the rain and over the bridges with suitcases. But we managed and finally got to our destination, although tired. When we went on the tour we had a great time with Nadia Danesin who made it enjoyable despite the rain. Next day was getting to the port via the water taxi and going on the cruise. Our ship Splendor of the Seas was an older ship that does not have all the amenities of the bigger ships. There were four of us in this comfortable suite with the balcony. None of us had been to Venice and it was nice to start the cruise from this port. The employees on the ship made the cruise so worthwhile. We had a great time with the room attendant could not have been more efficient and catered to us like royalty. We enjoyed the MYTime dining and the staff in the dining room were wonderful. The food was good and we had a great time joking around with the staff. The biggest thing lacking on this cruise was the entertainment, however, some of the singing and dancing performers were great to watch. We had booked private excursions so we did not use the Royal Caribbean excursions. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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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