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464 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Having cruised with RCCL a couple of times before I was expecting a lot better than what we got. First the ship: Cabins are of reasonable size and have plenty of storage space, have just been refreshed with new carpets flat screen TVs etc ... Read More
Having cruised with RCCL a couple of times before I was expecting a lot better than what we got. First the ship: Cabins are of reasonable size and have plenty of storage space, have just been refreshed with new carpets flat screen TVs etc although they don't seem to have any interactive components in them, there were also no IPADS which were supposed to have been installed during the refurb. Public areas are adequate without being anything too flash. Casino reeked of smoke so didn't go near that Service: Mostly OK apart from the Guest relations front desk staff who seem hopeless. I have read recently about the cruise industry trimming budgets for staff training and that certainly seems to be the case here. Food: Run of the mill boring menus produced by head office in Miami.Salad bar in the main dining room at lunch time is very good. Chops grill was very good. Wine is very expensive. Entertainment, Rubbish, I am sure I had seen the same shows on other RCCL boats a few years ago. The cruise director seemed to have absolutely no charisma about him, told the same jokes I had heard years before as well, the whole entertainment package seemed stale and uninviting.  There seems to be an insistence on this boat for having a loud band play in the centrum most nights until at least 12am. Our cabin was near the centrum and as a result we could not sleep or even sit in our cabin and watch TV with out hearing this loud out of key so called band. We made complaints to the guest relations desk staff who didn't seem to care, the Cruise director also didn't seem to care and even walked off while we were talking to him ! Not good and not acceptable RCCL! We were finally moved to a new cabin on the third night of our cruise which made the rest of the cruise tolerable, but surely if you have paid for a cabin you have the right to be in that cabin without having to be bombarded by the so called entertainment, it was even suggested to us to go to the solarium as it was usually quieter in there ( it wasn't) and anyway we paid for the room so should be able to use it ! Overall the boat is okay, probably better sized cabins than on newer cruise ships, entertainment is rubbish and food is ok without being anything to write home about. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
I will bring out both the good parts and problems this ship has when you sail on it. Pros: 1. The ship was old but really clean. They shampooed rugs outside cabins every day. 2. The Itinerary was excellent. Venice, Montenegro, ... Read More
I will bring out both the good parts and problems this ship has when you sail on it. Pros: 1. The ship was old but really clean. They shampooed rugs outside cabins every day. 2. The Itinerary was excellent. Venice, Montenegro, Ephesus,Bodrum,Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Split were wonderful choices for ports that provided great options. We felt the food was pretty good, have not experienced anything better on the past few cruises we sailed on. 3. Our Cabin Stewart, Head Waiter, and Assistant Waiter did a wonderful job.4. Cabin was slightly bigger than most (had an inside because we use the ship like a floating hotel and don't spend enough time in it to justify high end cabins.5. The orchestra at the large auditorium was just excellent, a few of their guest entertainer (singer & violin player) did a nice job. Music throughout the ship in small areas was also very good. The crew director was also very good 6. Embarkment and Disembarkment went well.Cons: 1.The pursers office was virtually helpless except for a couple of people.They dealt with the internet problems and gave some credit for lost time. They would ask the few that knew something if there was someone up front that could give an answer. Otherwise, they would go to the back for several minutes to try to answer your questions or problems. On girl could only give you a statement, and if you wanted something else she would tell you to get back in line because she was new. We pre-paid gratuties and got the envelopes but no vouchers for the recipients. We asked for them and they said they had to be with the envelope (which they weren't) so took about 10 minutes to reprint them. The purser next to us had someone complaining after we had and while we waited was back with reprints in a couple of minutes. Apparently it was just another thing our purser didn't know what to do and was in the back trying to get someone to show her how. Two days before departure I told the head purser that the printer for the internet wasn't working several times and they should have someone check to see that they would function correctly because several people who were already frustrated with the internet service and printer would be losing minutes and others no computers due to other passengers being tied up on them and her response was asking me to go up and try to print something and if it didn't work just let them know. We had transfers to and from the ship and when we arrived someone from RCI kept all the paperwork and we had no voucher for returning to the airport. We asked for a duplicate and at first the purser said just go out to the buses and they will take you. She said we were on a list. I asked to see the list and she said "oh it isn't on there" you have to call your travel agent because I didn't do it directly thru RCI. We showed her with our confirmation that we had paid it and it showed that on RCI's confirmation. The usual I'm sorry but you have to call your travel agent. I'm telling you it was a nightmare dealing with them. I approached one of the officers in another area because no one with any authority was ever at the office when we presented questions or problems. He said that was ridiculous and said to go back in three hrs. and it would all be sorted out. They said no one had contacted them. Many times they just had 1 or 2 people at the desk and the lines grew to up to 15 people on certain occasions when we were there.2. The Windjammer was way too small for the 2100 guests that occupied the ship. We always got up early and always got a seat but just a little later it had all kinds of guests searching for a table to no avail. We heard people that went on tours or just off the ship complaining because they didn't have time to eat breakfast. In the regular dining room (The King & I), they had very limited hours and they didn't fit well to cope with the overflow in the Windjammer. This was especially true on days when people had tours with the ship.3. Our service from our waiter at the 6:30 P.M. dining was terrible. There was always the statement that I try hard for you and we have someone from the head office that is making changes that don't work and that is holding your dinner up. Finally, about the 4th night one couple at our table were just getting up to leave and magical they said it was now coming. It was 8:10 P.M. by that time. Every evening we were held up after dinner with the waiter telling us how hard he was working for us and how was he doing. Then the last 3 or 4 nights we started hearing about how he needs an excellent rating on our survey form at the end and how he also depends on gratuties. Most of us thought that was totally unprofessional (have never hear anything like that on our previous 11 cruises on various cruise lines). Our head waiter was all over the waiter on getting the dinners earlier for us and it improved. Finally I brought up the talk about constant highest rating and needing gratuties and he said he would address it and I'm sure he did. He said it goes on their record for something like that but it was well warranted. No one at our table wanted anyone to lose their job but hopefully a skilled talk and reprimand by his head waiter will make him a better waiter so he can keep his job. 4. The main stage perfomers from the ship were not up to what we have seen on other ships but the band was great as I said earlier and was unbelievable in the way they melded in with the guest performers. 5. First, there was no one ever stationed at the internet cafe to talk to resolve any questions. You always had to call the purser desk or go down to them. The first few days, many went away frustrated because to enter the internet the screen said to hit either the spacebar or enter. Everyone I saw (like myself) thought they weren't working. You pay $100 for 250 minutes and no one to help, finally on the 2nd day when I was trying to get on I heard a gentleman telling a frustrated lady to hit left click on the mouse and sure enough it worked. The internet was extremely slow (like on most ships) but once you were in it would lock up on passengers and you couldn't get out so finally the word got around that when this happens you hit control, delete, and capital letters. That usually worked. I tried to print something on three or four days but the printer would read maintenance required. That is why I asked the purser desk to make sure the computers that did work would be able to print. When my wife and I went to print our boarding passes there was frustration in the air. Problems with the printer. It took us 80 minutes to finally get them printed because after entering all the information it was so slow that it said your time had expired and you would have to re-enter everything again after the 4th try we finally got through and then printed it. 6. The final blow was for those who had transfers to the airport. As expected our names were not on the list in spite of being assured that they were. They had numerous others that had no listing. The young lady checking was just writing cabin numbers all over her list and said go to the buses. Now a last adventure. People that were scheduled for buses before us were still trying to get on the two buses they had. It was a mad scramble but first you had to put your own luggage in the compartment under the bus. It goes from one side of the bus to the other and whether you are 5 or 85 it is up to you to get it on the bus. No driver help and of course no one from the "Splendor of the Sea" to put people or luggage on the bus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
we have cruised Ocean Village, Thomsons, airtours and P&O - thought we'd give RCCL a go and I personally was quite excited after reading the reviews. PROs - great food, dining service excellent, good cabins cons- MANY!!!! - be ... Read More
we have cruised Ocean Village, Thomsons, airtours and P&O - thought we'd give RCCL a go and I personally was quite excited after reading the reviews. PROs - great food, dining service excellent, good cabins cons- MANY!!!! - be very careful about your flight times RCCL throw u off the ship as early as 7am -we were in airport 9.30 and flight wasn't until 3.45 (others were as late as 7pm!!!) - friends had hotel in Portugal and had to be off ship by 7am!! DRINKS- extortionate!!! approx £10 for 1 beer & Vodka & diet coke. Trips ridiculous prices-so much so no-one went on them. entertainment- BORING!!! been on many cruise ships and this was by far the worst ever really don't know why people rate RCCL so much - only advantage to Ocean Village is the formal dining Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Having taken over 18 cruises on various lines (5 with RCCL) I've been able to gauge expectations fairly well. This one threw me a curve ball. The itinerary was absolutely fabulous! The ship not. Built in 96, she's 12 years old ... Read More
Having taken over 18 cruises on various lines (5 with RCCL) I've been able to gauge expectations fairly well. This one threw me a curve ball. The itinerary was absolutely fabulous! The ship not. Built in 96, she's 12 years old but looks 20. I recently sailed on the Sovereign (built in 88) and thanks to a recent refurbishment, she looks fantastic, so age isn't a true gauge. A 12 year old ship CAN look fabulous, but the Splendour did not. Here are a few obvious examples we noticed... Public Rooms: Cigarette burns in the leather seats of the Champagne bar, torn leather seats in the Viking Crown lounge, carpet stains, stains on chairs in dining room and in solarium lounge cushions. Cabins: Our cabin hadn't been cleaned upon arrival. We met with the cabin steward to discuss the condition and he did return that night to clean, but there were still sticky glass rings on the tables, spots from splashed liquids on the mirrors, and dirt/hair inside the drawers. He never provided room service order forms, and did the minimum for the remaining cruise. There was mildew in the torn fabric lining on the shower walls and the mirrors inside the bathroom were cracked. Clearly, the Splendour needs a refit! One is forgiving if all else shines. But it didn't. Shops closed early without notice, shore excursion desk was rarely open, shows were OK, food in the Windjammer was below average, service in the Windjammer was downright rude at times. Food and service in the main dining room was better but not up to RCCL standards. They've cut out the Ship Shape Program, poolside band, midnight buffets, ice carvings, Baked Alaska night and some onboard activities. Yes, these are in part, a sign of the times. Cruise lines are looking for ways to cut expenses and increase onboard revenue. But if you offer something else in place, and deliver excellent service, you can get by with it. In this case, the staff argued and exhibited a poor attitude with the passengers leaving a bad image with many of the cruisers. A woman at our table was missing the port book from her suite. Her cabin steward argued with her and told her she must have overlooked it, then proceeded to rummage through the drawers filled with her clothes, etc. looking for a book that was never there. The woman (a previous Princess cruiser) was appalled. Another table mate was standing in front of the logo shop looking at greeting cards and the staff member turned off the lights and started shutting the gate (at 10:05 AM and shops were to close at 11:00AM). He handed the card over to her and said he'd just get that one (since obviously there wasn't time to continue looking). She took the card from his hand, returned it to the rack and said "We're closed." I could go on. The attitude permeated throughout the ship and poor attitude is not acceptable. There are always the outstanding crew members that are MUCH appreciated, but they can't carry the entire staff. However, the solarium is a lovely place to spend time, and their bar staff did an excellent job of chasing children out of the adults-only pool. The string quartet in the Centrum was excellent and provided a touch of elegance. The port lecturer gave great tips for those exploring on their own. PORTS - VENICE With independent air arrangements, we arrived a day prior and stayed at the Antiche Figure Hotel in Santa Croce which I would highly recommend. It's a lovely, boutique hotel on the Grand Canal and a 5 minute walk from Piazzalle Roma where the taxis or buses will leave you. From the hotel, walk back to Piazzalle Roma and take the free RCCL shuttle bus to the ship, or a taxi (it's only a 5 minute ride). You could walk to the ship in about 15 minutes but it's not a pleasant walk especially with luggage. The pier at Venice is industrial with lots of shipping activity. The port isn't great but thanks to RCCL's efficient boarding procedure, you won't be there for long. It only took us 15 minutes to check in, clear security and board the ship. You can walk all of Venice and see quite a bit in a day! ATHENS It's a 20 minute walk to the metro/train station where you can buy a train ticket for 1.65 Euros. Once you board, you'll get off on the 7th stop to visit Plaka and the Acropolis (takes about 15-20 minutes). It's an easy walk to the lovely shops and cafes in Plaka which is delightful. The walk to Acropolis is an energetic one and there's no A/C or shade once you reach the Acropolis, but there is a nice breeze and it's SO worth the walk. You can see the restoration of the Parthenon and gorgeous views of Athens. Our ship was in port from 12 - 7 and we didn't debark until 12:30 but still had time to visit the Acropolis, shop almost EVERY shop in Plaka, and take in a long, late lunch. We took the subway back to Piraeus and were onboard by 5:30 without rushing. MYKONOS Probably the most unique and picturesque port with lovely white washed buildings, wind mills, shops and lovely beaches. RCCL provides a shuttle into town and you can walk 10 minutes to a square where public buses will take you to the beaches or you can just take a taxi. KATAKALON RCCL downplays this port and sells the excursions to Olympia, but if you chose to stay in town, it's really delightful. There's 1 street with shops lined along both sides. You'll find horse-drawn carriages to ride you around and there's a mix of souvenir shops and higher end artistic shops. 12-15 restaurants line the waterfront with outdoor tables under umbrellas, perfect for enjoying a lunch or drink while watching the sailboats in the marina. SPLIT GREAT! Full of history, ritzy shops, grand promenades and cafes everywhere. If you're tired of souvenir shops, you'll love shopping here with upscale name brand stores. Visit the temple of Jupiter, explore the cobblestone streets of the medieval section, and smell the fresh lavender from the flower stalls at the open air fruit and flower market. The marble promenade is breathtaking and a picturesque place for a drink. But if you walk into the town, you'll find amazing cafes with great food facing various squares. Local students dress in colonial attire and will pose for photos. CORFU Probably my least favorite port. The shops all carry the same cheap tourist souvenirs. Not many of the historical buildings within town have been restored. The new section of the city is definitely city, complete with traffic, noise and trash. The older section is more charming but you can see everything in about an hour, unless you take an excursion. In the old days, it was a given that you either booked a great ship with a weak itinerary, or a great itinerary with an average ship. With so much competition and new builds entering the marketplace, we've become spoiled with fantastic ships sailing exotic itineraries. This is not the case. I would definitely recommend this itinerary but probably not the ship until the line addresses some of these issues. The Splendour could be great again - but she needs some attention both to the hardware and staff. Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
First let me state if you sail Royal Caribbean NEVER book your next cruise on board the ship with the Loyalty Ambassador. We made this mistake and it cost us an additional 800.00 per person. When we booked on board we were assured that we ... Read More
First let me state if you sail Royal Caribbean NEVER book your next cruise on board the ship with the Loyalty Ambassador. We made this mistake and it cost us an additional 800.00 per person. When we booked on board we were assured that we were receiving the lowest possible price at 3200.00 for a Junior Suite and if we ever saw it priced for less we would be credited the amount. Well guess what...NOT! Royal Caribbean REFUSED to grant us the lower amount even after many phone calls and letters. To make matters worse not only did we find people on board who also did not receive the lower price we found people on board who WERE granted the lower price. Needless to say we were irritated and disappointed by all the Royal Crap. We sailed Royal Caribbean on two prior occasions and could not say enough wonderful things about our cruise. This time we are singing a very different tune. Our Royal Caribbean Cruise was aboard the Splendor of the Seas. The Cruise was for 15 days. We boarded in Valparaiso, Chile on 22 March and sailed around the Cape Horn ending at our last port of call in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 5 April. The ship is older and small. Much to small for a 15 day cruise. I would only consider this ship for a 5 day cruise of less. Our ship became a sick ship within two days of sailing. The medical staff suspect the Norwalk virus was the cause. For the safety of all concerned the guests were not permitted to even get a cup of coffee and had to be served by a gloved staff member. Our food at the buffet was also served by a gloved staff member. This precaution I consider to be acceptable and reasonable (I am an RN) for the over all health and safety of all aboard the ship. What was NOT reasonable was the cancelation of the vast majority of ship board activities. The object being so people did not congregate. This gave us eight days at sea, board out of our minds for lack of much to do that you would normally find about a cruise ship. Also remember we are on a small old ship. On the very last day at sea they finally allowed activities to take place but everything was all crammed together at the same times so we remained discouraged even on this last day. The evening entertainment on the Splendor of the Seas was fair at best. The normal Royal Caribbean dancers only performed twice and were good. The other nights they brought in guest entertainers. A few of the performers were good. However, most were not. They had a magician, Carlos Barragan, who's performance could have been topped by an ten year old with a deck of cards. Really, this guy sucked. The Tango Buenos Aires on day 13 was dull after the first dance as each dance was nothing more than a repeat and the guy who sang one song was not good either. One nights entertainment they showed an old movie, Oceans Thirteen. They had three guys give a Tribute to the Temptations one night. Most people left before the show was over. I could go on and on but I think I made my point. Bottom line the entertainment was of far less quality than we expected from Royal Caribbean. Our dining experience was worse than the entertainment. The quality of the food was fair on the best evening. I ordered steak three times while on board. I couldn't even chew it because it was so tough. The staff was very slow and not attentive. I never once had a cup of coffee with my desert no matter how many times I requested it, it never made it to the table in time before my ice cream melted. We often waited an hour before the main course was served. We were told by other staff members that this ship was required by Brazil to hire 30% Brazilians for the South American cruise and that this was their first time on board and was also their training ship. I believe it. It is the only thing I can think of that could cause the Royal Caribbean standards to fall so low. We feel so cheated out of a vacation. So, let me tell you what was good about our trip besides the fact it is over. We did enjoy going around the horn. It was exciting doing something that you know few other people have ever done. We also enjoyed seeing all the glaciers. The excursions we had were good. The people that took the train ride in Argentina said it was a total waste of their money. Argentina and Chile were beautiful. The cities were clean and there was no obvious sign of poverty. Brazil was the opposite and the pollution of the water in the bays of the ports made me want to cry. The filth of the water was worse than I had seen in India. Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
We went on a 4 night cruise leaving from Galveston. Our cruise was delayed due to a medical emergency that took place on the prior cruise. We should have boarded by 1:00pm Thursday afternoon and be sailing for 5:00pm. We did not board ... Read More
We went on a 4 night cruise leaving from Galveston. Our cruise was delayed due to a medical emergency that took place on the prior cruise. We should have boarded by 1:00pm Thursday afternoon and be sailing for 5:00pm. We did not board until 11:45 pm. The ship left dock after midnight. We stood in line for hours, with no place to sit, nothing to eat or drink. It was after midnight before we got to our room, and then our luggage was misplaced. Our room numbers were changed which caused the problem with the luggage. It also gave us problems in the dining room, the table numbers were changed, so they made us switch tables with other guests. Of course, it also delayed our trip to Cozumel. We didn't get there until 10:00 am instead of the 7:00am advertised time. With the late arrival at Cozumel, everyone was trying to leave the ship at once. We were packed into a very small area waiting for tender to Cozumel. There were no RC employees in sight as we waited in line, once again, for a very long time. Royal Caribbean gave each guest a $20.00 credit to use on the ship for the delay. I called and spoke to Royal Caribbean and they said that they are not planning any additional compensation for the delay. I feel that is totally out of line. We paid for a 4 day cruise, and got 3 days and a miserable day of waiting. Also a short day for our excursion. Royal Caribbean said that the delay was beyond their control. A medical emergency is beyond their control. But part of the delay was due to computer problems with the terminal that we had to leave from. Their terminal in Galveston is only used during the day, and it is not lighted for a nighttime sailing. So we had to use Carnival's terminal. The trouble with the computers and terminal is something that they should have a back up plan for. And we felt totally abandoned by them, we heard nothing while we were waiting, and had no offers of even a drink of water (until about 15 minutes before boarding). Even though a monetary compensation would not compensate us for the miserable time we spent waiting on Royal Caribbean to get us boarded, as well as the delays on all the other activities, it would have been a step in the right direction. It would show that they actually cared about their passengers. Other than the awful experience with the delay, the food was okay, not exceptional. The areas around the pools were crowded. The room attendant was very good, but I felt the employees at the pursers desk were not as helpful as could be. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
It started off really great. The staff before embarkation was wonderful. When we got on the boat lunch was served. The set up they have in the Windjammer makes everything very difficult to get to. It was like a maze trying to get from a ... Read More
It started off really great. The staff before embarkation was wonderful. When we got on the boat lunch was served. The set up they have in the Windjammer makes everything very difficult to get to. It was like a maze trying to get from a table to the buffet and back again. We met 2 other couples and hit it off right away. RCL was very accomidating in changing our dinner tables so we could dine together. Off we went.... we set sail a little early which I was very glad since we had early dinner seating. bags made it to room very early and dinner was wonderful. The first night there was a comedian, I was a bit surprised for the first night but hey this wasn't Carnival........lol We made it about 20 minutes into the show and left for lack of humour. We made it much longer than a lot of people. Nothing else going on tonight so we headed to the casino till about 1am and then off to bed. Day 2 a day at sea... Rough waters (no fault of RCL) I don't so much mind the waves, it was the rain that was the problem. It rained all day and RCL failed to provide any indoor activities. A whole day at sea and nothing to do... We slept. Went to dinner another great meal and off to the show. Another blooper. And to top it off people were getting sick all over the boat. RCL was doing more to cover up the problem then cleaning up the problem. I understand they can't control someone getting sick but they can control others from walking through it and tracking it everywhere. What a disaster this was. The staff acted as though they just gave up. Off to the casino and bed around 12am. Day 3... Cozumel Rough tendering in but all in all it was a beautiful day. They failed to tell anyone who had a water excursion that it was canceled do to the wind and rough seas. so as we were tendering in some very angry people were tendering back bringing their belongings back to the boat so they could once again tender out and go shopping. Prices have gone up since we were there in Sept. Do to Wilma i am sure. Day 4 ...Day at sea Another boring day. We have taken over 11 cruises with Carnival and never been bored. There was nothing to do on this ship. No planned activities. What I missed most on this cruise was all the laughter we have shared on all our previous cruises. The average age on this ship is 60. Went to the Captain's deal only to find out he wasn't there. out of over 2000 guest only a little over 300 were return guest, i wonder why....DUH! Oh and by the way the worst part of the trip was the beds.... What a joke. It is a cot mattress on a board.......lol unbelievable! RCL your not for me I'm going back to Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
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
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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