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464 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Overall we were rather disapointed with the below average Cabin we had constant issues with the toilet and AC and for three its just not a good idea. We were rather surprised at the changes in things like coffee. A cappuccino in the main ... Read More
Overall we were rather disapointed with the below average Cabin we had constant issues with the toilet and AC and for three its just not a good idea. We were rather surprised at the changes in things like coffee. A cappuccino in the main dining for $4 bucks ?? $20 for a steak ??? One of the things we expected for the premium prices was a premium experience but not out my pocket again. Ports of Call. If you want to do ONE thing only this is the ship it seemed to arrive late and leave early every port of call that we went to .. Look I understand they want you to spend money on the ship but come on 6 hours to explore.. We loved the casino staff enjoyed the entertainment the food was what I consider average cruise fare on a par with carnival.. For Europe spending the extra money on RCI is just not worth it. Our criteria next trip will be a ship that spends the most time in a port and accomodation next.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my fourth RCL cruise and I saw huge drops in all areas for quality. First we waited over 2 hours to check in in Boston. Having checked in there with Holland America I could see they only hired 50% of the staff, for a larger ... Read More
This was my fourth RCL cruise and I saw huge drops in all areas for quality. First we waited over 2 hours to check in in Boston. Having checked in there with Holland America I could see they only hired 50% of the staff, for a larger ship. I spoke to one of the check in agents, who are contract employees, the same ones work for all the cruise lines, He said yes Royal Caribbean will never hire enough people. I have not been on an RCI ship in about 7 years and I will never go on one again. For one thing the quality of the food has really dropped. No high cost food items at all. All the supposed desserts are just Jello and Cool Whip made into a Mango Slice. Dinner is still decent but lobster only one night on a 2 week cruise? No smoked salmon offered on the breakfast buffet, you can order it in the dining room. Breakfast in the dining room has a breakfast bar for cereals and fruit, This eliminates wait staff. Everything on the buffets are totally low cost food items. No waffles for sit down breakfast? First I will say we are not Diamond or Diamond Plus, all the revenue for the cruise seems to be going to give them special perks. We had an outside cabin and when we showed up there were no toiletries. Just one bar of soap. I asked our cabin attendant and he said that he could get some for the suites for us. So now we have to pack our own lotion? The bridge director was a total joke. He was very hard of hearing and couldn't understand what anyone said. The first lesson day he was totally unprepared for the lesson or the game. He kept telling us that someone from the cruise line was supposed to be there to set everything up. They didn't. Also they did not offer free shuttles to go into port. The shuttles are now a money making operation for RCI. Plus on one port the city offered free shuttles but we were not told about them and told that we have to pay for an RCI shuttle. By the way they do offer free trips in to town for the crew. The television is horrible, no news channels for most of the trip and no printed newspaper. If you like good food eat at Giovanni's every night. Great value there. Plus the crew is wonderful. They work very hard and under all this cost cutting it must be tough. Lots of them have been there over 10 years so they don't have a lot of options to switch to another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We have sailed with RCI a number of times, normally on the larger ships. We decided to try the Splender of the Seas because of the itinerary, despite it being much smaller than we were used to. What a disappointment this ship was to us. ... Read More
We have sailed with RCI a number of times, normally on the larger ships. We decided to try the Splender of the Seas because of the itinerary, despite it being much smaller than we were used to. What a disappointment this ship was to us. Firstly, we found it very noisy whenever any music was being played or the so called entertainers were on, either in the Centrum or Schooner Bar, The volume was just too loud, you couldn't hold a conversation or hear yourself yourself think, and we're not old fuddy duddies either, we're in our mid 50's. The R Bar was very under used, the bar itself was rarely open when we went in after dinner unless it was going to hold bingo or adult karaoke, we thought they cold have used it more for the quizzes they insisted on playing and left the Centrum area for those of us who wanted a quiet drink. The only place you could have a fairly quiet drink was in the Viking Lounge, unless they decided to play the disco music really loud, as they did on a couple of occasions. We were unlucky to have bad weather for most of the week, which meant there were more passengers trying to stay dry in the Solarium area or around the ship in generally. As a result, the areas quickly became untidy and scruffy looking. There didn't seem to be enough staff in general to clear plates, glasses etc, even the bar staff were in short supply, something we've not come across before. It was more noticeable in the pool areas, particularly on the last day as this was a cruising day and the weather was being kind. The addition of the big screen has added to the noise levels in my opinion, the ship seems to be becoming more of a party ship. We were on My Time dining for four nights. The first night (Saturday) was very disappointing, but after that it was very much improved and back to RCI standards. We went to Chops Grill two nights, no complaints about the food at all, although the service suffered when a very large group came in and it was all hands to the deck to the detriment of guests already dining. We only went to the Windjammer once at night and that was more than enough, the choice was very poor, unless you liked fast food, certainly not as good as on previous ships they really need to improve this. We had a really big cabin, one of the ones with a picture window, as a result we didn't miss the balcony at all. We were on deck 8 near the centrum lifts, although very noisy when you opened the door, the soundproof was very good and no noise penetrated through. The only down side was the noise sometimes from the pool deck if someone was running around late at night. Although we still enjoyed our holiday, we wouldn't go on a ship without the Royal Promenade again. To us the bigger ships suit us better because of the space, and we did speak to other guests who felt the same as us, but I'm sure there were plenty of guests who had a blast this is just my own opinion of our experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Booked a fly cruise and my companion has walking difficulties.The airport assistance was fantastic. Boarding Royal Carribbean was not easy as there was no assistance at the port. Throughout the cruise the staff were unsure of how to ... Read More
Booked a fly cruise and my companion has walking difficulties.The airport assistance was fantastic. Boarding Royal Carribbean was not easy as there was no assistance at the port. Throughout the cruise the staff were unsure of how to accomodate people with walking difficulties and often at ports , lifts were closed, at dining venues there were steps and stairs and even to be photographed with the captain at his welcome aboard evening , all guests had to negotiate the stairs up and down the main staircase in the Centrum. The main dining room was very grand and the service was good. The food however was poor and very disappointing. Only a three course meal offered. All meals were plated with no service of additional vegetables or sides. The food was often only just warm and the signature dessert, creme brulee, the same offering every night, was more like a wet blancmange with no cracky sugar topping. The sugar was wet and had dissolved on the top and a single slice of cold banana had sunk into the mess. I've had better in my local pub! Being adventurous , I thought I would sample chef's watermelon and raspberry soup served with a Mojito Foam. Big mistake! The 'foam' only appeared when I moved the spoon through the soup and was so off putting that I could not bring myself to eat it. Honestly I thought someone had spat in my first course. The windjammer buffet style restaurant provides a wide selection of food , including breakfast, and we often had better quality food here. The cooked dishes such as the fish pieces were left to stand and had gone a bit dry. The main problem here was the use of only plastic plates, cups and bowls. The thick plastic does not retain any heat therefore the food gets cold quickly, and to drink a morning cup of tea from plastic picnic wear is just not up to standard. If you are prepared to pay extra the food in the Chops Grille $30 per person per night extra then you will get the service and food quality that has been the standard of the many other cruise companies we have experienced. The wine list on board was extensive but the prices started from $33 a bottle. This is a little more than other cruise liners and so if you enjoy 'fine dining' this may add quite a bit to the overall cost of your holiday. Also to be noted are the charges for extras such as any classes, yoga, morning stretch etc. Other enrichment activities included things like 'adult belly flop competition'. Some how I have difficulty seeing this as 'enriching' . Another disappointment was the lack of a laundry room or any fascility for ironing. There is no trouser press in the room and the only way to have an item pressed is of course to pay! For this you must think in advance and put your ironing out 24 hours before.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
BAD
This is my eighth sailing on Royal Caribbean and the worst ever. Let me start by saying the cabin attendant, guest relations staff and wait staff were all excellent. The food was good but not great. Even though the ship was refurbished ... Read More
This is my eighth sailing on Royal Caribbean and the worst ever. Let me start by saying the cabin attendant, guest relations staff and wait staff were all excellent. The food was good but not great. Even though the ship was refurbished only a few years ago it still show its age but it was always clean and maintained. Two months before the cruise we were told that this would be an "immersion" cruise, that is a cruise that included a majority of guests from a specific country (in this case Brazil) and we would be immersed in their culture. The immersion had the following effects on the rest of the passengers' 1. All prime time entertainment was aimed at the Brazilian audience. It would have been nice if they offered other prime time entertainment for other passengers. The disco was open at midnight. 2. Trying to get waitress service at the lounges was difficult for non-Brazilian passengers. We were a group of six and half of the time I had to go to the bar and get the drinks myself. 3. Getting attention at the stores was equally as difficult. 4. This being a Brazilian "immersion" cruise, I guess the Brazilians were told that they could do as they pleased because they were constantly ignoring lines for service, taking up the entire width of aisles so that others would have to go around them or barge right through them. After 4 or 5 days I decided that barging through them or just standing still and letting them run into me made me feel better. 5. A lot of the crew members were Brazilian and spent most of their time chatting with their countrymen rather than providing service to passengers from other countries. That being said, the tours we booked on-board were terrible. While they stopped where they said they would, the time at each stop was inadequate. We spent more time just riding around the streets of the city than seeing any sights. While I usually like Royal Caribbean cruises (the Oasis was wonderful) I will stay away from older ships and I will NEVER take another "immersion" cruise   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Our Cabin was great but our attendant was just barely marginal. He barely showed any interest in our experience aboard. He was even barely capable of faking the little interest he showed. I know that service is a difficult industry and ... Read More
Our Cabin was great but our attendant was just barely marginal. He barely showed any interest in our experience aboard. He was even barely capable of faking the little interest he showed. I know that service is a difficult industry and that it is hard to care but I think it is possible at least to be convincing, even if you must fake it. Our cabin was aft the benefit to the aft Jr. Suite is the size of the balcony. The balcony is a key point for me I love to sit read and relax with a nice cigar. The cabins were very well appointed for an older vessel. We were very comfortable. The beds as always were evil creatures that sucked you a=in and did not wish to let you go. We had a rougher voyage than we are used to but despite that the aft cabin had no more movement than any other cabin we have had. We did get a constant almost vibration that was barely noticeable, you could se it in your coffee cup or in my case the martini. You did get a lot more motion from swells but this was again not an issue except when we had rough seas.Apparently balcony smoking will be a thing of the past starting the first of the year. Personally this will influence me a great deal I may have to consider a return to Carnival. Carnival made the change as well then realized the mistake and returned to smoking. This is the smallest vessel I have cruised on and I thought that it seemed a bit crowded. The smaller number of people aboard did not matter the smaller space just packed you together more. Our overall experience with the crew was one of ‘limited interest in the passenger’; it was not just isolated to our cabin steward. We were cruising on the final leg of the crew’s contract time, it would explain being drained of energy, it would not let them off the hook for at least faking it though. The food was a real disappointment though, many dishes were bland and tasteless in particular the sups were a huge disappointment. I can honestly say that of the soup I had every night the only one that tasted marginally good was the Duck Consume. One of my favorites on every cruise before was the Cream of Wild Mushroom, this time though I would have been happy to have a bowel of Campbell’s instead. One desert though stood out the Lemon Tart was spectacular but every other was also a bland disappointment.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Firstly let me say this is our first time on a Vision class ship, and most recently we sailed on Allure of the Seas, so this was going to be a big change (or small if you look at the size of Splendour in relation to Allure)! Overall, ... Read More
Firstly let me say this is our first time on a Vision class ship, and most recently we sailed on Allure of the Seas, so this was going to be a big change (or small if you look at the size of Splendour in relation to Allure)! Overall, great cruise with some minor niggles. Will we go back? You'll have to read my review to find out at the end in my summary. Sorry. OK, so I'll give an overview of the cruise, great ports but that depends on what you want to do. We did 3 ships excursions in Dubrovnik, Santorini and Athens. Why? Well we've never been to Dubrovnik nor Athens so didn't fancy taking our chances with transfers / shuttles at RCI costs and then making our own way, and I knew with Santorini taking a ships tour ensures priority tendering, which it did. In Corfu we just visited the old town as we've spent a land vacation in Corfu but not visited the town centre. A major tip for you folks about getting to/from Corfu town. RCI will offer you an all day shuttle service for $10 per person. So you get off the ship, catch a free port bus (or walk it's not far at all) to the parking area where you'll find the shuttle buses. Alternatively instead of paying $10 per person, in the same area as the shuttle buses you'll see a local bus that will take you to the same spot as the shuttle buses for €1.50 each! That's €3 per person for a return trip and these buses run every 15 minutes. Mmm, I wonder why the RCI shuttle buses and drivers were just hanging around the port? So overall impressions, well the ship is in great shape for her age (although some rust is evident, especially on the balconies) and has some 'bells & whistles' after her revitalization in November 2011 (we did see her in Cadiz in dry dock as we sailed on a Liberty TA). She now has an outdoor movie screen, Park Cafe, Boardwalk Dog House, Chops Grille, Izumi, Chefs Table, Nursery, R Bar, Diamond and Concierge Lounges and a Britto Gallery. We flew into Venice Marco Polo airport and after a short transfer using Venice-limousine.com for €50 (far better than Rome to Civitavecchia in my opinion as such a shorter journey) we were at terminal 107 of the cruise port at around 11 am. Several other ships were docked, Norwegian Jade, Carnival Sunshine and MSC Davina. Quite a strange process for dropping off your bags at a building and then walking quite a way across a road to the check in terminal, not arduous but just a little strange. Check in was swift and within minutes immediately after checking in, we boarded, no waiting around at all. We were met on deck 4 near the centrum with a welcome aboard drink and the obligatory sales desks for soda and wine and dine packages. Now one thing to bear in mind on this sailing was that as from July 2013, Croatia became a member of the EU, and so this meant that this itinerary no longer visited a non-EU port. As a result all purchases on board attracted Italian tax (VAT) at a rate of 22% (it has obviously increased recently from the 21% detailed in the letter in your stateroom)! There's no 'duty free' bottles of alcohol nor cigarettes for sale in the 'general store', the contents of the shelves had been replaced by Michael Kors bags! This meant that everything was more expensive than on our previous European sailings out of Barcelona which only charges 10% tax. All purchases from the shops and photo gallery on board have 22% added and so do drinks from the bars, but it is not not shown as a separate tax, I suspect it has been included in the prices as they are definitely higher than what we paid earlier in the year. For example, we normally say 2 alcoholic drinks (house brandy, simple cocktails, house wine) would cost us around $15 -16 including the standard 15% gratuity. On this ship, most of our receipts were between $19 - $21. If this tax hasn't been incorporated into the beverage prices, and isn't charged, then boy have prices been increased. Your 8 x 10 photo will cost you $24.34 ($19.95 + $4.39 tax), a 6 x 8 $15.80 ($12.95 + $2.85 tax). Soon mounts up! Thank goodness for the free photo coupon in the discount booklet (oh yeah, Splendour was still using the booklet, apparently they go electronic on the Oct 26th sailing). No unlimited internet package available, even though wifi is available throughout. The standard cost is now 75c per minute and painfully slow, so much so we didn't buy a package, just used our free minutes (well most of mine was gobbled up by the inability of the system to log me off which resulted in a visit to Guest Relations where I was compensated with $6 worth of time, despite losing $22 worth) and used free wifi in most of the ports. So that would be my tip on this itinerary, find the many cafés and bars offering free wifi and relax with a drink as we did and use the far superior wifi service available. We had a category D2 balcony cabin on deck 7 near the centrum (7570) which was very good, with new carpeting, new balcony furniture and bathroom (although a dreaded shower curtain which attacks you!). Newly renovated with new carpeting, balcony furniture, bathroom. LCD TV, but not interactive so you cannot order to room service nor check your SeaPass account via the TV. The ship is easy to navigate due to its size and the Adults only Solarium has a retractable roof (which despite the great weather was never retracted, making it quite warm and stuffy and uncomfortable in my view), great loungers and even when children are allowed in (normally a couple of hours each day) it never seemed busy except on our one sea day when, as you would expect, beds were at a premium. Plenty of beds around the main pool deck too, and it never seemed too crowded. The Viking Crown now houses Izumi and Chops Grille and these venues take up the prime views in my opinion and reduces the normally panoramic views available from the Viking Crown. It also offers an al a carte menu for snacks, tapas and desserts (think Red Velvet Cake offered at Chops). Later in the evening the venue becomes the 'disco' with the normal DJ ('I'll play what I want, even though the dancefloor is empty, as it's my choice, not the customers!). Sorry, but I find this self indulgent attitude on all RCI ships, not just Splendour. So to the dining venues. There are, as mentioned, the speciality fee paying Chops Grille, Izumi and Chefs table (in a partioned area of the main dining room on deck 5). We ate at Chops twice and although only late reservations (9:30pm) were available online (which I did book) on one day, I had no problem changing once onboard on day 1. Complimentary venues include Park Cafe, Boardwalk Dog House and Windjammer Cafe (all on deck 9). Cafe Latte-tudes is on deck 6 and serves complimentary cakes and pastries, but specialty Stabucks coffee and Ben & Jerrys ice cream is not free! Although if you buy 6 coffees the 7th is free. There are coffee and soft drink stations on the main pool deck and in the Solarium, but it's a bit hit or miss when they have drinks or cups available. A few times the coffee pots were empty or the coffee cold, and instead of dispensing lemonade or ice tea, just water was available. However, when available the orange juice both in the Windjammer and on the pool deck out of these dispensers was far superior to the 'regular' juice in the MDR. All beverages like tea, coffee, juice is self serve in the Windjammer using these machines. The main dining room (King & I) is 2 storeys on decks 4 & 5. My time dining is located on deck 5. Now this is my only negative on this trip, and that is the available seating in the MDR. We choose MTD and pre book online stipulating a table for 2 as we don't like to share unless we meet some people once onboard and elect to eat with them. That's the beauty of MTD for us, we no longer have to dread the first night of wondering who are table mates will be, and will we all get along. I know that's not everyone's 'cup of tea' as many of you enjoy meeting new people at dinner, but that's our choice. So off we go to the MTD 'check in' to be told no tables for 2 available as we are being shown to a table of 8. 'No thank you' I say and insist on a table for 2 which means we are paraded around the dining room looking like lap dogs following the Head Waiter. Not a good start. After dinner I ask why, when we have prebooked a table to ourselves (as it says on the RCI website) is none available? I am informed that the only time available for tables for 2 is at 9pm which is the last time diners are allowed into the dining room. OK, so we change all our prebooked times to 9 pm. Can't say I'm too impressed. So next morning, breakfast beckons. So off we trot to deck 4 and the MDR. Obviously as you might guess we are shown to a table of 10 and are expected to share first thing in the morning when I'm even less sociable than in the evening! This time we go with it, but as expected, as a same sex couple, no one speaks to us and the meal takes forever as it takes a long time to take and deliver 10 orders, coffee, tea etc, especially when the waiter is determined to encourage people to have freshly squeezed orange juice at $4 a glass and for those of us who decline, we wait forever for regular juice. Oh I forgot the requests for camomile tea, apple juice which further delayed the service. For subsequent breakfasts we request a table for 2, invariably to be told quite curtly that none are available, we will have to wait 'over there' (in the Centrum) and 'we are very busy, so it may be a while'! Well you know what, we did wait, no longer than 5 - 10 minutes and we're still in and out in less time then when dining with 8 others! So my comment card clearly stated more tables for 2 required as we were not the only ones requesting them. Now for dinner, yes we got our requested table for 2 at 9 pm (woe betide you for turning up 10 minutes earlier as again you will be told none available). However, sometimes as this was the latest time for MTD, we felt rushed as the wait staff wanted to clear tables, other times it was ok, just depended if you were in the 'naughty corner' where most of the tables for 2 are located in a corner at the back of the dining room or a more 'open' area (table 179 was our favourite). We thought the food however, was excellent, although I know this is very subjective. The portions seemed larger sometimes. The staff are excellent and very friendly although looking more rushed than ever, to the point of having to apologise on several occasions that we had to wait. I've now realised that I've prattled on for over a page about the MDR, so I suppose it mattered more to me than I realised. It didn't ruin the cruise, but left a bad taste about MTD on smaller ships. As for service, in general it is service 'with a smile' to a certain degree. However, I found that those 'in charge' we're less friendly and in some cases downright rude. For example, I went to Guest Services (open 24 hours according to the Cruise Compass) to cash a travellers cheque. There is always a member of staff checking the line to see what you need. I was told very rudely that they could not cash the cheque at this time as guest services is closed! Err there are 2 staff behind the counter, but closed? Why I ask? (Thinking they no longer cash cheques) to be told there is a staff meeting. What he should have said was, 'the cashier in the casino will happily cash your cheque sir' (which I knew anyway) not just turn his back on me. And before you say 'why didn't I go to the casino first' I was passing guest services, not the casino at that time. Entertainment is available as on all RCI ships, but we didn't see a show in the 42nd Street theatre (only 1 level on deck 4), the Centrum has bands playing, acrobats swinging from the ceiling and this is where the 70's party is hosted with the obligatory 'Village People' in the evening. Another tip, if you like to retire early, then don't get a cabin near the centrum as the sounds travel up from the singers or bands playing. Quest is held in the Top Hat lounge on deck 5 and looked fun, but I can't say the CD was on fire, and to be honest a little lacklustre. Due to the size of the ship there is nowhere you could sit and listen to some relaxing music with your drink of choice, as each venue had some sort of loud music in the evening, be it the singalong in the Schooner Bar (great fun) or band playing in the Centrum to the DJ in the Viking Crown. There is the usual Spa and a very small fitness centre, both located aft on deck 9 and accessed from the Solarium but I can't tell you anything about either of these as we didn't use them! Disembarkation was painless. As we had airport transfers included as part of the air/sea package with RCI, we were given baggage tags for a 7:30 a.m. departure (our flight was 11:25) and Venice airport doesn't advise arriving more than 3 hours before departure (RCI also mention this in the cruise compass) as seating is limited in the airport. Odd numbered tags were advised to wait in Top Hat lounge on deck 5, even numbered tags in the 42nd Street theatre on deck 4. Platinum and above Crown & Anchor members could wait in the Schooner Bar on deck 4. Those requiring wheelchair assistance were requested to wait in the Centrum on deck 4. Express Departure guests had to advise Guest Services in advance and would be expected to carry off all their bags from 7:00 a.m. and before 7:30 a.m. (Actually they were allowed to disembark starting at 7:15 followed by tag number 1 at 7:45 and 2 shortly thereafter. We were aboard the bus at 8:00 having collected our bags and passing out of the terminal (no passport or customs check) and on our way to Marco Polo airport at 8:05 for the 25 minute transfer. As I said, painless. In summary, the ship is in good condition, on the whole the staff are friendly and helpful, the service is good, and the ports are excellent (Dubrovnik must not be missed, Santorini is spectacular and Athens for historical sites can't be beaten. Corfu has plenty to offer and Katakolon has one street of shops and a harbour full of pretty cafés and tavernas but little else as it the port stop for Olympia). One noticeable and pleasant difference to the bigger ships are the lack of announcements for bingo, $10 sales, belly flop competition, worlds sexiest man etc, etc. Those of you who have sailed on the Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class will know what I mean. Basically during the day, it is peaceful with very few 'bing bongs'. Bliss. So the $64,000 question, would I sail out of Venice again? Definitely yes, it's such an easy transfer to/from the airport and is a beautiful city to experience and only a 2 hour flight for us. Would I want to visit more of the Greek Islands? Of course, there are so many to visit and they are so charming. Would I sail Splendour again, given a choice, no, she's too small for me and doesn't give the variety of venues I've become accustomed to and that are available on the larger ships. Don't get me wrong, she is a great ship, on which we received our first Crystal block and never appeared crowded (boy those things weigh a lot, around 1.5 kilos or just over 3lbs to be exact!). Although I did have to chase that down as it had been delivered to the wrong cabin!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We received this cruise as a gift. We were hesitant about how we would like being help captive on a boat with 3,600 other people. We are an active family -- our lives don't revolve around eating -- so you can see that we figured out ... Read More
We received this cruise as a gift. We were hesitant about how we would like being help captive on a boat with 3,600 other people. We are an active family -- our lives don't revolve around eating -- so you can see that we figured out that cruising isn't for us. We did not enjoy standing long buffet lines waiting to eat mediocre food. We thought of the ship as a floating cafeteria. The pools are useless -- they are tiny and always filled with people. The decks get very slippery and I fell twice, both with plates of food in my hands. That ruined my trip for me as I was sore the rest of the time. The service and the shows were 5+ stars.....and that's all I can say positively about this cruise. We spoke to the cruise director briefly and he suggested we consider cruising again but on a smaller ship, with less time getting to our destinations (2.5 days from NYC to Grand Turk). As far as the Splendor goes, we loved that we could just drive to NYC and hop on the ship! The decor is tacky but you soon get used to it. Our cabin was huge, it was a basic oceanview on the lowest level of the ship. Impeccably clean, plenty of space, and a hot high-pressured shower. The food was mediocre except for their desserts. Chocolate bar...amazing. My kids hated the kids club, they went for one hour and busted out. They really forgot to make a plan to cater to 11 year olds. The most awesome thing my kids wanted to do was go to the 12 year old club at night -- they were not allowed in. My kids had nothing to do for 5 of the 8 days of cruising.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We have just returned from sailing on the Splendour Of The Seas and found that most of the lovely Fillipino waiters are not there anymore. They now have waiters that only seem to be attentive on your last night of cruising. Once upon a ... Read More
We have just returned from sailing on the Splendour Of The Seas and found that most of the lovely Fillipino waiters are not there anymore. They now have waiters that only seem to be attentive on your last night of cruising. Once upon a time when entering the restaurant you were guided to your seat and a chair pulled out for you, but not anymore. You walk in pull your own seat out and place your own napkin on your lap and a wait. We have cruised over 40 times and can see the difference, and the cut down of staff. We were eating our breakfast on our last day and seen a young female waitress clear a table then pick up the used napkin and wipe the table down with it very hygienic I must say. Food was mediocre and repetitve the same deserts each day in the Windjammer. The good points the ship has been re fitted and our cabin was spotless with new fittings and fixtures. The beds very comfortable. The cabin well insulated against noise from your neigbours cabin. We had a balcony which was wonderful to sit and watch the world go by. The Ship was full of Italians and Spanish and very unruly children playing in the lifts. Its the only ship we have been on that has accomadated so many children. The Greek islands were wonderful as was all the other ports of call. We made our own way around the ports as the ships excursions were expensive compared with the local buses and taxi's. Drinks were expensive too, a bottle wine was $38 and 15% added to each drink. $8 for a glass of wine plus the 15%. If you like a drink or two or three give this ship a miss. Overall I would say this cruise ship is not the usual standard that we used to get on board anymore. Would I sail again on the Splendour? No we would not. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This being my 4th RCCL cruise I was very disappointed. Having been told that the Splendor the Seas was being renovated and balconies added I was shocked to see my cabin the size of a closet. The new balconies were on deck 6. With the ... Read More
This being my 4th RCCL cruise I was very disappointed. Having been told that the Splendor the Seas was being renovated and balconies added I was shocked to see my cabin the size of a closet. The new balconies were on deck 6. With the new balconies the cabin size was reduced to a smaller size. There were three draws and a cubbie hole. The beds were the size of a junior bed that a child coming from a crib would be put into. They took out the double couch and there was no mini bar. The bathroom had a shower curtain instead of the sliding door. The water from the shower sprayed all over the floor. The Food was mediorce. Repeated selections and poor choices. Lobster was extra for $28.95. On the other ships it was a free choice on the captains nights. The theatre entertainment was lovely, however the centrum group sang and played older boring music for couples to dance. Only one night was fabulous and that was motown all the way. The crew at Guest Relations were fabulous. Could not do enough for us. The dining staff also terrific. The ship was smaller than I am used to. It holds 1900 passengers and a crew of 750. There was no center promenade and very few shops. To sum up this critque I would not recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I found the splendour of the seas a disappointment quite frankly as we had sailed last year on adventure of the seas so we were probably looking forward to the same level of cleanliness ,we were sorely disappointed.The decks were wet and ... Read More
I found the splendour of the seas a disappointment quite frankly as we had sailed last year on adventure of the seas so we were probably looking forward to the same level of cleanliness ,we were sorely disappointed.The decks were wet and slippy most of the time with no staff around to mop up.The level of commitment was just not there as it was on the adventure !I found the staff very lackadaisical.The windjammer food that we were so looking forward to again was unimaginative and seemed to forget about the English palette,and it just wasn't so beautifully laid out like it was on the adventure.We normally like to just go up into the windjammer a few times a day just to see the amazing array of food,we just didn't find this worthwhile as the food was the same every day!And seemed to cater more for the Latin and Asian palette more than anyone else.Not everyone is a fan of spicy foods.Not asking for anything fancy but a shepherd's pie was on the menu only once,it wouldn't harm them to put on a bit of steak pie or roast chicken for a change.On saying that the room service food was amazing which we didn't find out until the last few nights,when we were hungry enough to try it.It came fast and efficiently.The staff were mainly Latinos ?and Caribbean.Friendly enough but not quite up to the scratch of the staff of the adventure.Who seemed to clean from morning to night.There was one good restaurant on board the grille,where the steak was the best I've ever tasted you do pay one set charge in here but you get a three course meal here.And Errol our waiter was so friendly. The room we had was clean and lovely balcony ,but the people (families) next to us were far too noisy,screaming and shouting at their kids all day long and then from six every morning!I think its diabolical putting a couple in between families.We paid a lot of money for this what we thought would be a special cruise.The only special parts of the cruise were trips to Monaco and the wonderful island of Capri which we managed to travel to on our own steam (much cheaper)not with the ships excursions.Altogether great cruise but ship needs pulled up a lot.Bars were good cocktails not too dear.Latino entertainment again in one bar !But the other bars were nice and had great ships entertainment great soul singing band in the theatre one night and great band called the reef riffs go boys ! You done well.Try another ship next time I will read reviews beforehand though. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We have returned from sailing the Greek islands with the Splendour and was a little disappointed with the standards of the ship. We have sailed with her before and found the standards have really dropped in the restaurants. Mediocre food ... Read More
We have returned from sailing the Greek islands with the Splendour and was a little disappointed with the standards of the ship. We have sailed with her before and found the standards have really dropped in the restaurants. Mediocre food in Main restaurant and repetitive in the windjammer. I was really surprised that their is smoking allowed in the casino, we walked thru unknown and finished gasping for air by the time we got out the other side so if you like a gamble and don't smoke you need to go in with a mask. Drinks a very expensive as they also charge extra 15% on all drinks. Good side is we had a great cabin on deck 6 with a balcony which was awesome. If you need a quite hour that's the place to sit. The ship was full of Italians and Spanish so was quite noisy and some very rude. If you book on deck 6 6958 be prepared to walk a distance to your cabin it was like a maze the first few days. The cabin was very small but very quite too. It has just had a makeover so looked new and smart with a nice comfy bed and new bed linen. Staff did not seem as friendly as the norm for RCI. Last time the waiters had time time to chat show tricks etc but not this time they were busy rushing around the restaurant it looked as if they had cut staff to a minimum, We did get a cracking deal to go on this ship but don't think we would sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We took this cruise in May 2012. Not wanting to use Royal Caribbean flights due to them not being direct to Venice we made our own arrangements. A week before our holiday the flight was cancelled and we had to fly out 2 days early and ... Read More
We took this cruise in May 2012. Not wanting to use Royal Caribbean flights due to them not being direct to Venice we made our own arrangements. A week before our holiday the flight was cancelled and we had to fly out 2 days early and spend the time in an area about 15 mins out of Venice itself. From the main Venice bus station we used the people mover to get to the port. It costs 1 euro each and you need the first stop for the port. From there we dragged our luggage about a mile towards the ship where we were stopped and told we had to leave it at a building we had already passed so we trundled back again. On the way to the ship we had passed at least 3 RC employees and none of them told us we were going the wrong way! We had booked one of the new balcony cabins that have been added during the refit. It was nice and new obviously but smaller than balcony cabins we have had in the past. The balcony itself was reasonable with nice new table and chairs. Bathroom small as you expect but well laid out with plenty of storage. We ate mainly in the windjammer and this was very busy at peak times. It was a case of grabbing a table and taking it in turns to go and fetch food. Plenty of choices but by the end of the week it was starting to feel a bit repetitive. We had paid $55 per day each for the all inclusive drinks package. In the whole week, eating both lunch and dinner in the Windjammer were were only asked 3 times if we wanted drinks. Shows were fairly good (if you like that sort of thing). We mainly used the Centrum and the Schooner bar. Pianist in the bar (Anselmo Boles)was a joy to listen to and by mid week he had got to know his regulars and built up a nice repartee with them. One thing we missed was a quiet bar where we could have a drink without too much noise. There just didn't seem to be anywhere. We found some of the staff a bit over the top. Cruise director was American and seemed very false in his bonhomie. On our first day as we approached the Windjammer one female member of staff stopped us and said, in a very silly childish voice, "Is it rumbly tummy filly time?"...........i looked behind me to see if we had somehow acquired a 3 year old child! Over the last 15 years we must have taken at least 20 cruises but never before with Royal Caribbean. I'm not sure we would use them again due to the disembarkation process. In all my time i have never ever been thrown off a ship at 8am! We have always been able to stay on the ship until it was time to leave for the airport, even if that was mid afternoon. We did have an option to pay to stay on, at $35 each, but there is no way i would pay that. It seems as though once the cruise is over they cant wait to get rid of you! They will probably say this is so that the ship can be cleaned but if other lines can manage this while still having passengers aboard why cant they? Our flight was not until 6.30pm so we had all day to kill.We had already "done" Venice so wandering around there all day didn't really appeal but we had no choice. A long trek to the people mover again. If you have cases and want to leave them somewhere turn left out of the people mover exit and you come to a left luggage shop. 5 Euro per case for the day. Taxi to the airport from the port is 45 Euro. From the bus station in Venice it's 5 euro on the bus. Buses run every 20 mins and take about 35 mins. If you choose Splendour for your holiday - enjoy your cruise! :-) Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We have recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise on board Splendour of the Seas. We did have an enjoyable vacation due to the wonderful ports the ship sailed to, we sailed from Venice to Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik ... Read More
We have recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise on board Splendour of the Seas. We did have an enjoyable vacation due to the wonderful ports the ship sailed to, we sailed from Venice to Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik which were all fabulous places. We stayed in Venice overnight pre cruise in the Hotel Caprera which is a 3 star hotel close to the train station. It was spotlessly clean,and the front desk staff were very helpful, the room was quite tiny but was ok for one night. In Bari we took a taxi and visited the old town which is beautiful. We also did some shopping on Via Sparano which is a lovely pedestrianised street in the newer part of the city. In Corfu we took a taxi from the ship to the town which was EUR10 for 4 people and then we strolled around the town for an hour or so and then took a taxi to the beach at Dassia and paid EUR3 each for beach beds and umbrellas. The taxi driver took us to a beach club which had a lovely swimming pool and we were right on the beach, it was a little stony in the sea but lovely to swim in. We hired him for an hour and a half and he charged us EUR50. In Mykonos we took a taxi for 4 and went to Paradise Beach for the day, the taxi cost EUR20 and we took the local bus back which was about EUR3.50 each. We did some shopping in the town for a couple of hours and then walked back to the tender after watching a beautiful sunset in Mykonos harbour, it was beautiful. We stayed on board in Athens as we had been there a couple of times. In Dubrovnik we took the shuttle from the ship to town and then privately took a glass bottomed boat trip around the city walls and to a little island, it lasted 45 minutes but I would not recommend it as there was no commentary on board and we had been told there wold be. The town of Dubrovnik is extremely beautiful. Splendour of the Seas itself was a disappointment, we have previously sailed on Adventure, Navigator and Liberty of the Seas and they were much more impressive ships. The air conditioning in our stateroom could not be turned off, it was very noisy and very strong, we had a deluxe stateroom with balcony. Our stateroom attendant taped over it as it was so strong my sinuses got infected but he could not completely cover it as it would have been dangerous. The ship had been renovated last November but they did not replace the stateroom furniture, the drawers were shabby and stained on the inside. The bathroom was quite tiny and had a shower curtain rather than a door on the shower. The interactive TV did not work, we could not access our account on line or view excursion packages. Our friends had paid for a Junior Suite, it was much smaller than the Junior Suite on either Adventure of Liberty. It was also under the pool deck and the noise of deckchairs scraping the floors started at around 6am and it was impossible to sleep beyond that. We could hear the noise of the deckchairs also and we were two floors below the pooldeck. All 6 of us found the air conditioning very uncomfortable. Some of the corridors on the 7th and 8th decks smelled musty and damp and we spoke to one couple who said the carpet in their stateroom was wet and they had asked to be moved, they were reaccommodated in a suite and were very happy with that. The crew on the ship were lovely and extremely helpful, our dining waiter Malcin and assistant waiter Mustafa in the King & I were terrific as was Carolina our wine waiter, she was fabulous, always smiling and looked after us so well. Amy in the Spa was great, I had a wonderful manicure! Yosef our stateroom attendant was also terrific, he did a wonderful job every day. The food in the Windjammer was extremely disappointing at lunchtime, there were the usual salads which were fine but the chicken was all thighs and drumsticks and extremely tough, the burgers were like frozen burgers. The catfish was inedible, cooked in a batter and tough brown fish. The selection was very poor. They did a barbecue on deck on the last day which was lovely. We were disappointed with the food in the King & I also, again the chicken was tough, the minute steaks were like cardboard, the selection was disappointing. The fish was overcooked and small portions. No lobster dinners, Royal Caribbean seem to have stopped the lobster night. The vegetable selection was good and nicely cooked. We ate in Chops Grille one night and the food there was lovely. The entertainment in the Schooner Bar was great, Anselmo was terrific on the piano and we went there most nights and had great sing songs. The other entertainment on the ship was a bit disappointing, the atrium does not have the same wow factor as the boardwalk on the bigger ships, we missed the parades. We did not get to use the casino so I cannot comment on that but it did not have a bar, we used to enjoy drinks at the casino bar on Adventure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean had a drinks package which was not offered on their website only on board, it seems to be on trial on a few ships. It was USD385 plus tax for the week per person and included cocktails, most premium liquors, sparkling wine, and wine by the glass. We thought this was good value. We did have a lovely holiday because of the ports and the crew on the ship but I would not sail on Splendour of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
The May 5th, 2012 sailing of the Splendor of the Seas was our first cruise on RCCL, as well as our first cruise in Europe. The cruise ports of call were Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik, and we choose it for price and the ... Read More
The May 5th, 2012 sailing of the Splendor of the Seas was our first cruise on RCCL, as well as our first cruise in Europe. The cruise ports of call were Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik, and we choose it for price and the itinerary. We flew into Milan and took the train to Venice. Venice is lovely, but not easy to get around since there are no roads. We took a water bus to St. Mark's Square from the train station and had to drag our bags through the very busy square and down a four foot wide "street" to our hotel. Venice was jammed with tourists since there were a number of ships in port. To get to the port the next day we dragged our bags to the Blue Line water bus which took us to the port. The walk to the check in area was long and there were no porters or luggage carts. Check in took about 45 minutes. The ship - The ship seemed in good shape but did feel like an older ship. We have been on some of the older Carnival ships from the 1990s and it reminded us of one of those. I did not see any wear or tear or dirt anywhere. We loved the solarium, although since it was chilly outside it was often crowded. Unfortunately, the no children under the age of 16 policy in the solarium pool was not enforced. The other areas of the ship were pretty standard. The interactive flat screen TVs around the ship were great and lead you to the nearest restroom and provided access to the Cruise Compass. There is no self-service laundry. Fellow passengers - The passenger makeup was about 70 percent European with a lot of Brits, Italians and Germans. The balance of the passengers were Americans, Canadians, Brazilians, etc. Most people were over 45 years old. The announcements were given first in English. Our cabin -- We had an outside on deck two forward. It was not huge but it seemed like the carpet and drapes had been replaced and perhaps the bathroom had been updated. The bed was fairly comfortable. The flat screen TV had a station that showed some CBS programs. There were no IPads, nor interactive TV. I never even knew what the room service menu was. The bathroom was nice and I loved the little drawer to store small toiletries. Water pressure in the sink was very weak but the shower was fine. There was plenty of storage and we did not even fill all the drawers. The lack of a refrigerator was a major downer and the drapes could have been more light blocking. The main problem we had with the cabin was the lack of soundproofing. We could hear the people next door, people in the hall and doors slamming all night long. On Toga Party night the people next door came in at 4am and continued to talk for over an hour! This was the day before the 8am arrival in Corfu. In another review someone said that the air conditioning was too loud. In our cabin we found the fan to be too soft to block out the noise. Thank goodness we brought a sound machine. A note about cabin locations: The cabins anywhere near the Centrum are very noisy due to the music, aerial shows and dance parties that go to midnight. In addition, they rehearsed the aerial show in the afternoons. The music was so loud it drowned out the trivia questions in the Schooner Bar. If you like to nap or go to bed early avoid these cabins. Dining -- We were so tired from jet lag and touring so we only ate in the main dining room a few times. Dinner was nothing special and the portions were fairly small. The buffet food was not too bad and they did have theme nights (Indian, Chinese, Mexican, etc.) to add some variety. As with any buffet some of the selections were poor such as the ribs I tried to eat but gave up due to the lack of meat. The problem with the Windjammer Cafe is that it was too crowded at peak times and it was difficult to find a seat. The Park Cafe was a good place to grab a wrap, salad or sandwich and we went there many afternoons to get a drink and cookies or cake. The hot dog house was underutilized. Maybe Europeans do not like hot dogs? We did not try any of the specialty restaurants. Entertainment -- I thought most of the shows in the main theatre were very good, particularly the Three Tenors and Ballroom Fever. At the end of the week the shows are at 7:15pm and 9:15pm, the earlier time is a pre-dinner show for the late seating people but we went to the buffet and attended the early show even though we were main seating. The rest of the entertainment was pretty standard. We did not go to any late night game shows or parties as touring Europe was tiring and we were asleep by 11pm. The Aerial Shows in the Centrum were not that great because the performers did not do much, the music was too loud and it was hard to see. Service and staff -- Service in the dining room was good and we even found it too attentive at lunch. The waiters tried to keep up with the dirty dishes in the Windjammer Cafe but did not succeed at times due to the crowded conditions. Our cabin steward never introduced herself the first day but kept the cabin tidy. There was a wonderful lady who was always at the entrance to the Windjammer who wore a themed costume every night and smiled and said hello to everyone. The cruise director seemed a little "too corporate" in his tone but we did have a nice conversation with one of his staff members who was from Croatia. The port lecturer had terrible delivery and it seemed like he had never even been to the ports. He kept saying the same phrases, such as "once again", over and over and gave no personal recommendations. Ports of call -- Our favorite ports of call were Corfu and Dubrovnik. I highly recommend the panoramic tour of Corfu since it is very scenic. We never saw Corfu town due to lack of time. In Dubrovnik we took the cruise shuttle to the old town and walked the city walls (not free) on our own. In Bari we took the ship's tour to Alberobello, which was interesting. From Piraeus we took the hop on bus to the Acropolis which was very crowded. In Mykonos we just looked around on our own. There is an internet cafe just as you enter the waterfront which we used. The end -- Disembarkation was stress free until we got off the ship. We had a late morning train ticket to Milan from the Venice Santa Lucia train station. There are two ways to get to the station; walk a mile to the people mover (1 Euro) which lets you off at Piazzale Roma then cross over an arched bridge with a number of steps, or take a taxi (18 Euros) to Piazzale Roma and then cross over that same danged bridge. We choose to take the people mover and were worn out when we got to the train station. I was longing for the easy access that the port of Miami provides at that point! Milan was buzzing with activity near the Duomo but the highlight was a trip to Bellagio and Lake Como. This was actually the most scenic location of the entire trip. Highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We had an aft cabin on deck 7. We were really looking forward to this since we had never booked an aft balcony. I couldn't find much information before we left about the aft balcony. We wanted it because we knew it was a bigger ... Read More
We had an aft cabin on deck 7. We were really looking forward to this since we had never booked an aft balcony. I couldn't find much information before we left about the aft balcony. We wanted it because we knew it was a bigger balcony and we could enjoy seeing where we've been. On our second day (a day at sea) we noticed black ashes on our towels on the lounge chairs as well as on our table (between the chairs). I initially thought that people on the top deck were smoking on the rear of the ship and their ashes were being dropped on our balcony. As the day went on though, we had more and more ashes. We finally figured out that it was coming from the smoke stack on the ship. We reported it to the Purser's and the agent looked at us like we were crazy. She said that no one else on the aft ship had reported anything (which is entirely possible, since it seemed that we were the only ones who actually used our balcony) and she had no idea what it could be. She said she could send someone out to look at it. They had scheduled someone, but they never showed up. On the 5th day, someone actually showed up and she said that they had never had this problem before, however, as my husband continued to question her she finally admitted that it "could" be coming from the smoke stack. What really aggravated us was the fact that everyone tried to deny that they had ever had this issue come up before. It was clear that it was the smoke stack because on the days that the wind blew in a different direction we had no ashes. On our last day, someone from customer care called and said that she had left a previous message for us (although we didn't have any messages). She had indicated that they hadn't had this problem before but was willing to give us a credit on a future cruise. Since we didn't know when we would be sailing again she offered us a $100 discount for this cruise. What annoyed us more than anything was the denial by all staff. If they would have just told us that this was a drawback to an aft cabin, we would have accepted that, but the fact that everyone acted like this had NEVER happened before really irritated us. It was not our objective to receive any compensation, just an acknowledgement that this occasionally occurred and explanation of why. On a positive note, we LOVED our stateroom attendant and wait staff. Every time we ran into any crew members, they were always very pleasant. The food in the Windjammer cafe was almost always the same. That was a disappointment. The menu in the dinning room was the same everyday, except for a different flavored "pancake of the day." This was fine for us because we LOVED the french toast and omelettes. The food in the dinning room for dinner was good and offered a good variety. We felt VERY rushed to get off the ship on the last day. We got to port at 0530 (30 minutes early) and it was a very loud. The ship vibrated strongly as it felt that we came in and turned ourselves completely around. If the arrival hadn't woken us up, the numerous announcements made over the intercom definitely would have. We had asked previously if we could take our time getting off the ship, as we had no immediate plans for the day, and we were told that we had to pay to stay later than our departure time (which was assigned at 7am -- the first assigned departure). So, we left at our assigned time. Thankfully our local hotel checked us into our room at 0830 - that would never happen stateside. So, overall we had a great vacation and enjoyed our ports of call. We were a little disappointed with Royal Caribbean (we had sailed with them before with no issues). We were happy to learn that the ship was going to dry dock after our cruise, a little updating would help spruce it up. We liked the fact that it was a smaller ship and we were able to recognize crew members and get familiar with them, however, a larger ship does offer more amenities and more to do. Again, we couldn't have asked for better stateroom attendants and waitstaff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My review of the Splendour may be irrelevant since hours after we disembarked, she was taken to Cadiz for the refurb, but I think my review may be helpful for those interested in sailing with RCCL for the first time. We sailed out of ... Read More
My review of the Splendour may be irrelevant since hours after we disembarked, she was taken to Cadiz for the refurb, but I think my review may be helpful for those interested in sailing with RCCL for the first time. We sailed out of Venice on Oct 17, 2011, for what amounted to be a transition cruise as the ship was sailing to Spain to be refurbished. The Splendour is among the oldest and smallest in the RCCL fleet, and the company felt it was time to spruce her up. Our Captain mistakenly joked during his welcome speech that they were extending the ship and many passengers aboard were concerned. There seemed to be a consensus among those I spoke with that Splendour was the perfect size. It will definitely benefit from new carpets, flat screen tvs, and alternative dining venues, but in terms of passenger capacity and easy of navigation around the ship, she is absolutely wonderful just the way she is. He did clear up his little joke during a chat with the passengers in the centrum on the second sea day. The ship will remain the same size, and that alone encourages me to sail her again once she is back on the seas. Embarkation in Venice was...interesting. I'd gotten some bad info about how to get to the ship. Many people had mentioned a shuttle that picks RCCL passengers up in Pizalle Roma. This was not the case. You had to board the "People Mover" which is a light rail type tram that carries your from Piazalle Roma to the edge of the port. To board the "People Mover" enter the building next to the luggage storage place on the bridge side of the square. Buy a ticket from the automated machines (there is no customer service agent to help, you just have to figure it out) then take the elevator or escalator up one floor to board the tram. Get off at the first stop, THEN there was a shuttle bus to the port, but at that point you are so close by that most people walk. Another alternative is the water taxi which picks up and drops off at St Marks. It will take you to the pier. We took it from the pier to St Marks and walked back, so I can't give details on how to do it in reverse, but it is a nice ride along the same route the ship will take sailing out of the city. When we arrived at check in, it was not busy, but the building is large and there are no signs to direct us. There were plenty of RCCL staff around, but they seemed much more interested in talking to each other than in helping to answer questions. I know it was the end of a long season for many of them and they were all looking forward to getting through this one final week of dealing with us, but I got annoyed quickly both because I'd had little sleep for the previous two days getting to Venice and because it happened over and over and over. We arrived in the building and had to interrupt a private conversation between 2 RCCL employees (who were sitting at a table at the entrance, clearly they were the greeters) to ask which way to go. Then we got to the next station and the man was just standing there staring off into space. I felt like I had to wake him up from a dream to ask him where to go. Then, after having our passports checked 4 times in the space of about 50 yards, we finally had our cruise cards and made it through security. The next step was to board an elevator to get to the ramp that would take us to the ship. The elevator filled up quickly, yet the RCCL employee who was standing in the door of the elevator to keep the door open was also staring out into space, and I finally had to say, "Excuse me, we are full" before she came back to the present moment and let our elevator ascend. Once we boarded the ship, we were handed the usual pile of flyers encouraging us to check out the spa etc (but no champagne, no beverage of any variety) and then we were set loose without any instruction. Since no one mentioned NOT going to our cabin (no one told us anything about where to go), we took the elevator to Deck 7 only to find the fire doors shut and another RCCL employee standing there looking dazed. Here was our conversation: "It looks like we can't go to the cabin yet." "No, the cabins will be ready around 1 o'clock" "Okay,so where would you like us to go?" "Oh, you can go anywhere." "Is there someplace where we can get something to eat?" "Yes." "Can you tell me where that is?" "The Windjammer Cafe" "Can you tell me what deck that is on?" "It is Deck 9" "Thank you." It was like pulling teeth to get the information out of her. Maybe I am just used to sailing on cruise lines that give you too much information. I am normally herded (and frequently escorted) from the time I board the ship right to the cafeteria or directly to my cabin. And because it is day one, I appreciate the assistance because despite this being my 14th cruise, it was my first time on this ship, and my first time using this cruiseline. I wanted to do things the way they wanted it done, but the RCCL way seems to be to either expect that you already know what you are doing, or to just let you grope blindly along? Sorry to be so disparaging, but it was a very poor first impression. Luckily, things improved from there. Our cabin Steward, Oleg was very nice. He found our one missing piece of luggage on the first day and often checked in with us in the halls when we were coming and going. He made us several creative towel animals and despite the fact that RCCL has ended the chocolate on the pillow routine, one night we returned to find mini snickers there, a special treat. Likewise, our diningroom team of Soner and Marino were always quick and efficient with dinner. Soner also made sure to check in with us on the food. He told us what he thought the best dish of the night was and he really wanted to know what we thought and he was determined to have everything be right for us. Marino was excellent about keeping my water glass full ( I drink a lot of water) and he always offered extra bread to the table. The cruise director was Bill Bruckheimer, an American. I think it was my first CD from the USA. He seemed very pleasant on announcements and on the TV, though we never met him in person. There were actually several members of the staff from the USA which (in my experience) is unusual. Both the staff and the passengers were an extremely diverse group. Our cabin was 7588, a D2 balcony. It was larger than expected, and we enjoyed breakfast on our balcony one morning which is my favorite thing to do on a cruise!!! We were in a perfectly central location, but unfortunately on the "northern" aka less sunny side of the ship as we headed west across the med. The food onboard was pretty average, though I'd say dinner in the Windjammer was the best meal. Entertainment was decent to poor-Rat Pack show was good, comedian/impressionist was poor. The song and dance numbers were average. Our first port was Dubrovnik. The cruise line offered a shuttle that cost 10 Euro per passenger for unlimited back and forth trips, but honestly, who is going back and forth more than once? I had been told it was too far to walk, but it was really only a little more than 2 miles each way to the old town, so I could have easily made it. There is also a public bus which picks up/drops off right in front of the port gate. The old town was not terribly crowded despite the cool but sunny day. We were rather late in the season (Oct 18) but I was glad not to be there in the height of the tourist crunch. I think large crowds would seriously detract from the enjoyment of this World Heritage Site. Next was a sea day. I got some exercise running around the jogging track on Deck 10. I appreciated the fact that the track circumnavigates the entire deck and doesn't cut it short, so that 4 laps equals one mile. Many ships are short changing those of us who like to take a run in between luscious desserts! The next port was Malta. It was fantastic, my favorite stop. We walked into Valletta from the ship. I'd read a lot about the "steep climb" up to town, but it is all steps and there are plenty of places to stop and take in the views, so we skipped the taxis and the horse drawn carriages and hiked our way up. I recommend it. It wasn't that difficult. The town is a very neat grid full of interesting sights and history. We got in town early when it was still quiet and poked around before the crowds arrived. Later in the day we took a taxi to Mdina, the medieval capital of Malta. It is much smaller than Valletta and well worth a look, and it is only about 15 mins drive away. Next day was at sea. It was windy and the ship rolled quite a bit. I suffer from extreme motion sickness, so in addition to taking some pills, I hung out in the centrum (mid ship, deck 4) most of the day because it helps to be on a lower deck and in the middle of the ship. Later in the day, the movement died down and I attempted to work out in the gym (it was too windy to be on deck 10 to jog). Unfortunately, the gym on this ship is quite small and all the machines were full. I do not know if there are plans to improve the gym during the refurb, but I hope so! Our next port, was Cartagena, Spain which was a place I had trouble finding any info on during my internet search. It was wonderful. The Roman Theater that was uncovered in the late 1980s was fantastic, and the old castle which has been turned into a museum on the history of Cartagena was interesting. The town has numerous lovely public parks, a wide open waterfront area, and a large pedestrian main street. The old bull ring is still in the process of being refurbished, but it looks like little has been done and perhaps the money has run dry, but a lot of money has clearly been spent sprucing up this port and it is nice to walk around and enjoy. Our final stop was Gibraltar, but it was a bit of a disappointment. We arrived on a rainy Sunday, and much of the town was shut down including the war tunnels in the rock. I decided to hike up (all the way from the ship to the top of the rock). The Mediterranean Steps which actually wrap around the most southern portion of the rock were the best part of my hike, but not for the faint of heart. It is a long steep climb with extreme drop off, but also fantastic views. If you are not interested in sweating that much, either take a minibus/taxi tour, or ride the cable car up and walk down. If you plan to take the cable car both ways, note that aside from the view you will only see the monkeys without walking to one side of the rock and or the other. By the time we woke up on Monday morning to disembark the Splendour in Malaga, Spain, work had already begun. The pool deck was ripped up and the boutique shops had already packed up all their goods. I'm sure the ship will look fantastic when it returns to service and I'm so glad that it will remain small and intimate. Aside from my concerns about the questionable customer service of some of the staff, I will consider sailing on her again. However, for anyone considering trying RCCL for the first time, I'd say stick with your favorite line. I'll be going back to Celebrity because despite being under the same company umbrella, Celebrity just does a much better job form customer service to the little details. I think RCCL has sacrificed too many of the little things that make a cruise special to keep me as a customer. 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Sail Date October 2011
Check went very well as did the flight transfers, full marks for that and we were on board by 1pm. Don't let your travel agent advise you to lett RC book your flights, they manage to get you on the mos inconvenient flight from the ... Read More
Check went very well as did the flight transfers, full marks for that and we were on board by 1pm. Don't let your travel agent advise you to lett RC book your flights, they manage to get you on the mos inconvenient flight from the most inconvenient airport however! The ship is tired, and due a refit, but that aside some good and bad points... Dining room service was great, but food was unimaginative, sometimes tepid by the time it got to you. We can't think of one memorable meal. Very uninspiring and very disappointing. I was even compelled to order the Fillet for a surplus payment of 15 dollars and frankly a hamburger from MacDonalds would have been more enjoyable. The drinks menu across the whole of the ship was fine, and priced pretty much like an other cruise line however, if you try and order a drink from the staff in the main theatre or the Top Hat lounge be prepared for a long wait. This is the only cruise ship that we had to go look for a waiter! Normally they swamp you , but not on this ship. Why? Essentially this smaller vessel is over crowded, some 2200 passengers, and poor front of house ratio of staff to passengers. This was very evident when it came to sea days, again this is the only cruise where we had to work hard to get a sun deck chair. Interestingly the next class of ship in RC is bigger but has the same number of passengers as Splendour. We had booked a Grand Suite, the room was a bit tired, but clean and cabin steward was excellent, a nothing to much effort attitude. The big snag was GS are on deck 8, just below open deck 9. Late at night, the staff move all the chairs and tables around and you hear every bang, thump and screeched as the furniture is dragged across the deck. Have an extra drink to help you sleep through it! -:) On a positive note...other cruise critics had suggested the Pursers office staff were unhelpful, in fact we found them terrific. Our dining staff were fun and should take no responsibility for the dull food. The itinerary was stunning, a must do for cruisers. The Spa and Gym are small, but service fine. The evening entertainment is mixed, the outside guest appearances were original and fun, the in house production team, well, we have seen better. But a the end of that day, we didn't let any of the negatives affect what was a good break with some great destinations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have cruised before, with My Travel and Thomson - never had any issues with them. This was our first cruise with RCI. Only booked it coz of the ports of call, not the cruise company. The ship itself is fantastic and so are the ... Read More
We have cruised before, with My Travel and Thomson - never had any issues with them. This was our first cruise with RCI. Only booked it coz of the ports of call, not the cruise company. The ship itself is fantastic and so are the majority of the crew - the issue we had is with RCI themselves... Our biggest complaint would be about the cost of drinks - $8 for a pint of lager, which included a 15% gratuity, cheapest bottle of wine? White Zinfandel - in Tesco £5, on this ship $31 plus 15% gratuity. They put a 15% gratuity on everything you purchase! RCI are a complete rip-off!! Why don't they do an all inclusive drinks package on all ships? We later found out that the 15% gratuity actually forms part of your server's wage... If they don't meet their target then all RCI pay them is $50 a month, I know they get free bed and board but.... We pre-paid our tips (£70 EACH!), thinking we'd get vouchers to tip who we wanted... Oh no, they are for the cabin cleaner and the head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter of the formal dining room (would they really get £140 in tips between the 4 of them? Doubt it) - we only went there 3 times coz the food was terrible, on the times we did go (coz we felt we should and the menu looked ok), the food was luke warm and not much of it - so why would we tip the waiters that we barely knew? Breakfast in there was just as bad. Obviously we gave them the vouchers as we had already paid for them. My advice, aside from don't cruise with RCI? Don't pre-pay the tips and when you get onboard, go straight to the pursers desk and tell them to the remove the daily tip charges for all people in your cabin - they will add a daily charge of $11.25 pp if you haven't prepaid tips. If you do this, at least then you can tip who you want and how much you want - lessons learned there for us. If we had known we could do this, then we would have done. We ate mainly in the Windjammer Restaurant where food varied every day and was hot - breakfast was great in there too! It's buffet style for breakfast and dinner but that didn't bother us. The shower wasn't great - no water pressure and a shower curtain 3 inches too short, so the bathroom flooded every night. Other than that the room was great and our cleaner, Ron, was brill - used to make us animals out of towels... If this had been our first cruise, it would probably put us off doing another one. We have one booked for later this year - not with RCI!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Our biggest complaint was the cost of drinks. We bought the 7 day wine package in excess of $200+. Then found an additional 15% gratuity was added. To compound this we had pre paid gratuities and found part of this was for our table wine ... Read More
Our biggest complaint was the cost of drinks. We bought the 7 day wine package in excess of $200+. Then found an additional 15% gratuity was added. To compound this we had pre paid gratuities and found part of this was for our table wine waiter!! Thus being charged twice for being served our wine. They put a 15% gratuity on virtually everything you purchase. Over the past few years we have noticed that an extra 15% being added onto virtually everything you purchase. Be careful - RCI standards are slipping and are becoming a rip-off!! We ate on second sitting (9pm) in King and I. Our waiters were excellent BUT service form the kitchens was appalling. It was often 11.15pm before we had finished and by this time many of the evening entertainments were finished. Many nights it was after 10pm before we even had our starter. At least one of our group each night had to send food back because it was only just warm. The Head waiter was a complete waste of time. We asked to see the Maitre'd who tried to fob us off. Eventually we arranged a meeting with a senior officer and things did improve - so it could be done. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer Restaurant which was buffet style. The choice was wide and varied and the quality was generally very good . Many of us felt it surpassed that offered in the King and I. Embarkation at the start and end of the cruise was excellent and well organised. Apart from the senior dining room staff all other were excellent and very courteous. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We truly enjoyed the service level of the staff of this 11 day cruise. Everyone, with the exception of the purser desk, was kind and courteous. The selection of the ports of call was great. Unfortunately, the food at both the "King ... Read More
We truly enjoyed the service level of the staff of this 11 day cruise. Everyone, with the exception of the purser desk, was kind and courteous. The selection of the ports of call was great. Unfortunately, the food at both the "King and I" and Windjammer was not up to par. At the "King and I" dining room, many selections on their menus were not available or prepared in a very crude fashion. At best,the food was equated to something a touch above fast food chains such as Denny's. Of the seven ports we visited, Kotor in Montenegro proved to very scenic, particularly the two hour duration en route to the harbor. It reminds us of the fjords in Norway and the highway going up Whistler in Vancouver, British Columbia. Split, Croatia is very special too. We took a coach to Trogir, a UNESCO town. Very well preserved and relaxing. Santorini is magnificent. We took a bus and spent most of the day at Oia, the poster perfect town that can consume your entire camera memory card and spare batteries. Venice is full of tourist and the best way is to avoid the crowd by wandering around the other islands after you have checked out St Mark's square. Athens has a lot of history and since we were there not too long ago, we decided to take the subway to town and wandered around the foot of the Acropolis. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Just back from the Greek islands on Splendour of the Seas. Had a fairly good time ... but Splendour needs to be totally refurbished, looking old and tired and worn out. Drinks were very expensive (I have seen this numerous times on ... Read More
Just back from the Greek islands on Splendour of the Seas. Had a fairly good time ... but Splendour needs to be totally refurbished, looking old and tired and worn out. Drinks were very expensive (I have seen this numerous times on reviews, but ... nothing has been changed or altered, the prices are still sky high). Why I wonder? Windjammer is too small for the number of passengers, people do not want to share tables, ....it was like a rugby match. Children should not be allowed into the Solarium and pool and hot tubs.... parents travelling with tots should obey the rules or go on a Disney cruise.I found some of the excursions to be a waste of time and expensive (Crete) but did enjoy the Corfu excursion.My time dining was a complete joke - we paid 98.00 upfront and had to fight for a table for 2 for 7.30 (which was pre-booked).All in all, enjoyed the vacation, but it could have been much better.SkattieTorontoAll in all we had a good time ... Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
I cruised on the Mariner of the Seas on a Mexican Riviera cruise and one week later was on the Splendour of the Seas. Although the Splendour is a much smaller and older vessel the difference between the two was amazing. We left on ... Read More
I cruised on the Mariner of the Seas on a Mexican Riviera cruise and one week later was on the Splendour of the Seas. Although the Splendour is a much smaller and older vessel the difference between the two was amazing. We left on this tranatlantic from Barcelona. Barcelona is a busy port with usually two or three ships in port. That day was no different. I arrived late since I don't like to wait and since we were going to be on the ship for two weeks there would be plenty of time for exploration. Check-in went very smoothly and we got on the ship in a matter of minutes. Once we arrived at our stateroom I was initially pleased with the large size, the clear glass veranda and the refrigerator, and flat screen TV. But, it was only a few more minutes that I noticed that the curtain divider had some magazine pages stuffed into the ceiling fitting. I assume it rattled and since it wasn't making any noise I thought I just better leave it that way. I had put some sodas in the refrigerator and thought I'd have one. They seemed awfully warm. It was two days later that I finally figured out that the refrigerator didn't work. I mentioned it to the cabin steward and then it took two more days to get it replaced. The glass veranda panels were a bit salty, but I assumed that once we were under way that they would be cleaned by either the staff, or my steward, probably at the next stop. It turned out that it was MY responsibility to clean the panels. After two stops they were still not cleaned. I noticed that this is a new policy since none of the panels that I could see were clean. I just washed them off with water using the ice bucket. The Splendour is only about 15 years old but it is really showing it's age and no more so than in the bathroom. The first thing you notice is the water pressure in the sink. It dribbles, it drips, it reluctantly oozes through a water saver. That's fine for washing your hands, or brushing of teeth, but even washing your face is a bit of a chore when the water is being parceled out in tablespoons. Thank goodness there was enough water in the shower! I had a Junior Suite and it has a bathtub. I was looking forward to the tub since it's nice to have a nice quiet private soak, especially on sea days. However, once you are in the tub the black mildew in the caulking is a bit irritating. I asked the steward to clean the mold off. He tried, got the black off, but there were still grey spots,and stuff where the caulking was rough. And, the plastic wall panel/wall paper was peeling and separating, which probably led to the caulking in the first place. But, the worst was the floor drain. When you are finished with the bath the floor of the bathroom floods with huge clods of slimy black mold, and stuff that gets stuck in the drain, the size of silver dollars. It comes up out of the floor drain. At least the toilet is a separate system. Eventually the water does recede but it leaves these disgusting patches of slime on the floor. The steward cleans this all up but suggests that because the ship is so old and the drains so clogged that taking a bath is not a good idea and to stick to showers. He then says what all the staff says about the Splendour "It's going into drydock soon, sorry". Royal Caribbean is not known as a gourmet cruise line. On board the Mariner of the Seas the previous week I thought for a second that things might have changed. But, once on board the Splendour of the Seas it was back to basics. If you are a little bit fussy with food eat in the dining room. The choices are always more interesting, and the atmosphere nicer. The staff was absolutely wonderful. When a dish wasn't well received they always offered another selection and best of all it arrived pronto. Sometimes when they knew that we had made a "mistake" they went ahead and brought the "pick of the litter" dish. Another sign of the times aboard the Splendour is the gym. Wasn't anyone interested in fitness 15 years ago? One look at the Splendour's gym and you'll think so. It is by far the smallest, most cramped, poorly equiped gym I have seen at sea in over two decades. If a nice gym and locker room are important to you, you'd better forget the Splendour. Th entertainment on board a transatlantic is always a bit of this and some of that. The Splendour has a single level theatre, with some obstructed view seats. You really can't expect the type of shows and production numbers you would see on a newer or larger ship. But, every evening there was something different. I only went on one shore excursion from Cadiz to Sevilla. It was well run, and the staff very accomodating. Considering the time it takes to get there and get back we had just enough time. This was the excursion that is basically transportation only. In Tenerife I just got off the boat. Walked across the street and rented a car. I didn't have a reservation, and it only cost $55 with everything for a day. Since this was a transatlantic with lots of Latins on board the second seating for dinner was at 9:30PM. I don't know if there is anyway to tell what time the second seating will be. Once I found out I was desperate to change since I really didn't want to be walking away from dinner at 11PM, or later. I was accomodated, but first seating was packed. Then there is the visa issue... Brazil requires a visa. I knew that. I got my visa. But, at our table there was the "Tale of two visas". RCCL allowed one couple to board at Barcelona without a visa for Brazil. Another couple were refused boarding at Barcelona and told to figure it out by themselves and once they got the visa they would be allowed to board, wherever that might be. For that couple the worst was that they had to wait 3 hours for RCCL to find their luggage that they had handed over at the curb. In the meantime watching 100's of other excited passengers board. The onboard couple had a mad race in Lisbon to get the visas. It was a crazy "Mr. Toads Wild Ride" with wrong addresses, wrong documentation, and even a car accident to spice up the day. And, of course it was down to the very last second, including a case of mistaken identity with the Vision of the Seas. The couple who didn't get on spent four days in Barcelona going through all the hoops to get a Brazilian visa in Spain. Confusing? Difficult? Frustrating? Costly? Yes! all of the above. When was the last time you tried to buy a one way air ticket at the last minute? Then, when they finally joined the ship in Lisbon to find out that some lucky passengers had been enjoying the cruise for the past 4 days, even without a Brazilian visa... Well, RCCL is very clear, concise and correct; Visas are the responsibility of each passenger. Regarding the itinerary it is too bad that there were some early "all aboard times". I would have liked to have had a stop in Recife as well. It was nice that we did cruise though the Cape Verde Islands. I choose to get off in Rio. I'm glad I got off there since I was in Ipanema in about an hour instead of being in Santos. However, the facilities at Rio are really not geared up for large cruise ships. I just got out and hailed a cab in the street. And, 1o minutes later I was driving along Copacabana Beach! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Three years ago, my husband and I (in our early 50's) sailed to the Med/Greek Isles aboard Celebrity to celebrate our 25th anniversary. It was nothing short of perfect. We loved it so much that we were eager to return to the area to ... Read More
Three years ago, my husband and I (in our early 50's) sailed to the Med/Greek Isles aboard Celebrity to celebrate our 25th anniversary. It was nothing short of perfect. We loved it so much that we were eager to return to the area to revisit our favorite ports as well as explore some new ones. The Royal Caribbean cruise on Splendor the Seas fit the new bill in terms of ports, but fell short in terms of overall cruise experience. We arrived on July 15th and took the ATVO Flyer Bus to Piazzale Roma and then walked approximately 10 minutes (and across the new bridge) to our hotel. There were options to avoid the hassle of the bridge (waterbus/vaporetto), but chose to walk. I ended up tipping an eager Venetian man to help us since we had 2 MAJOR rolling duffles to drag over the bridge. We highly recommend Hotel Abbazia for both convenience to the cruise ship terminal (via the shuttle) and the close location (less than 5 minutes) to the vaporettos. The hotel is a restored monastery and is lovely. The staff is welcoming and very helpful. Since we arrived on a VERY hot day, the a/c had difficulty keeping up, but eventually did. We walked around the area close to our hotel and had dinner on the canal. Prepare yourself for sticker shock in Venice! The Hotel had a fabulous breakfast and after we ate, we zipped around the Grand Canal on a vaporetto to St. Mark's. Summer crowds and stifling heat zapped our spirits a bit, but who can complain when one is in Venice! We left for the cruise ship terminal around 1:00 pm, walked back over the bridge and headed to the bus terminal to catch the shuttle. Let me say now that it was only through reading and asking a lot of questions on tripadvisor that I was able to determine IF there was a shuttle and Where exactly to catch it. I had even emailed RCL about this and did not receive a response. Others shared the same complaint. I believe we waited approx. 30-45 minutes to catch the shuttle in the blistering sun as there was quite a line. Embarkation was easy, although people were rather beat down by the heat, which reminded me of one difference from Celebrity...they had cold cloths for us and champagne as we waited to board every time we got on the ship (both initially and after an excursion)....which was a nice touch! Our ocean view cabin was a nice size and the stateroom attendants were great. The ship appeared to to be in good shape. The bars, in my opinion, had cheesy entertainment and the shows at night were definitely substandard compared to the shows on Celebrity (which were FANTASTIC). One night there was a "Rat Pack" show and was embarrassingly bad to me! An enthusiastic female Latin Singer was "ok" but very "night club" type performance. The magic show was probably enjoyed by the kids but was average to me. The ship singers/dancers were very good but typical--they didn't wow me but I appreciated their efforts. The only redeemable show was a violinist who was very good! Events by the pool seemed to be enjoyed by the younger set,and the contests in the Schooner Bar and the Top Hat bar that we attended were kind of fun, but we didn't partake of the activities every night. We ate most of our evening meals in the King & I dining room and the best way to describe it would be "fair" or "bland". The menu had a variety of choices that seemed appealing but just didn't do much for anyone at our table. The Windjammer was consistently good for breakfast. In some ways, we enjoyed the food there more than at the King and I. One comment that I have to make is that I was really surprised at the informality of dress in the dining room. Even on the formal nights, people were dressed somewhat casual. Again, this was a major difference from Celebrity where people seemed to adhere to the suggested dress code. But, food and entertainment were not the main reasons why we chose this cruise. The ports were wonderful and we did go on several excursions. Dubrovnik: We chose the excursion to Cavtat and the old town as an excursion since it was so hot that day and I thought it would be a good idea to enjoy the a/c and view from the bus! We enjoyed the drive along the coastline to Cavtat since it gave us a better sense of Dubrovnik. Cavtat was a quiet yachting area that was picturesque but somewhat uneventful. The old town was beautifully preserved and charming. The crowds and the extreme heat made it tough to really enjoy our time to the fullest. Ephesus: We chose the excursion to Ephesus from RCL since three years ago we went with a private group who REALLY pushed the rug factory. Besides the ruins of Ephesus, we also went to the Terrace Houses and were pleased that they had furthered their excavations so we were able to see some new things. I love Ephesus! Great tour. We ate lunch at an area close to the ship and were annoyed by the watch salesman who threw his watches all over our table. In addition, I had a very uncomfortable experience with our waiter as I came back from the bathroom of the restaurant. We went back to the ship after lunch since both of us are put off by the high pressure sales in the market area and I was shook up by the waiter. Mykonos,Santorini and Corfu: We did Mykonos on our own. We just shopped and took pics and then went back to the ship. Mykonos is a charming island but it doesn't take a tour guide to enjoy it, nor does it take a lot of time. Some people enjoyed it as a beach day. However, Santorini is our favorite port. We took the tour to Oia and the Santos winery since we enjoyed it so much on our last trip. The time given in Oia was plenty to take great pics and walk around (and shop). We LOVE the Nykteri wine at Santos winery and so that was high on our "to do" list. The scenery from the winery is breathtaking. We walked around Fira (shopped some more) and took lots of pics. Long lines at the cable car to get back to the tender since there were several large ships in port at the same time, so we went and had a snack at a very scenic restaurant till the line died down, which it did; it only took around 20 minutes to take the cable car to the tender at that point. Some people walked down to the tender and regretted that choice. Corfu was a new port for us and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it. Much "greener" than the other Greek islands. We did a ship excursion again because I wanted to see the island and not just the town (to shop some more!), so we did the Paleokastritsa, Lakones and Wine tour. It was great to see a lot of the island and Paleokastritsa (also called the "Capri of Greece" was beautiful. We went out on a small boat to see the caves and that was cool. Departure was easy and organized. However, information about the shuttle was difficult to obtain. I don't understand why RCL doesn't make this clearer for people! Most people (including us!) were unsure where to catch the shuttle; when we found out there were long lines. It just seemed that RCL was done with us now that the cruise was over and we were on our own. Not great customer service in my opinion. Summary: We had a wonderful time and the cruise met our overall objective--to enjoy Med ports which we did! The customer service, food and entertainment maybe would have seemed better to us if we had not had something to compare it to! The informality of the cruise reminded me somewhat of a Carnival Cruise that we went on in our 20's, but had just a little more class. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Our cruise was a family reunion type of get-together. Ages ranged from 13-67 and there were 8 of us. We went on a 7-day mexican riviera cruise. the ship is very large and designed in not the most user friendly way. for instance, trying to ... Read More
Our cruise was a family reunion type of get-together. Ages ranged from 13-67 and there were 8 of us. We went on a 7-day mexican riviera cruise. the ship is very large and designed in not the most user friendly way. for instance, trying to get to the golden pearl restaurant is not easy - there are different entrance locations on different levels. crazy. food was average - nothing to write home about. but the again, cooking for the masses can never be exceptional. the chocolate extravaganza tasted very processed and not very good at all. one of the offerings was melon on a skewer doused with hershey's syrup. hmm. the ship, when you consider all the people on board, is very very clean. even the cafeteria style lido deli is tidy. They just don't have enough chairs & tables. the mongolian grill is painfully slow - be ready to stand in line for 20-30 min. and ask for extra sauce at the end. very tasteless stir-fry for a thai bbq sauce! they ran out of beverages every now and again but with so many people, it's understandable. don't drink coffee in the afternoon - it's been going since breakfast. go to the coffee bar and pay for a cup of java instead. much better. the tapas bar was a nice change from the usual fare and so was the tandoori bar. but generally, the food grows tiresome. the excursions we took were great - the spa was great on board the ship. i recommend getting a treatment. and the cost of the spa packages goes significantly down the last 4 days of the cruise. we wish we would've booked the spa pool in the beginning though - that's the best deal. Not a very friendly kids club staff. They did nothing to help our two teens feel welcome or excited about activities. the first meeting wasn't "HI"! Welcome"! It was "here, fill these out and i'll give you a sticker so you can get into the club. you can't get in without it". then she turned and left and we had to track her down in another club to give her the paperwork. she just took the papers, put a sticker in their hands and left. kind of rude. the kids were on the fence about going to the club and that clinched the deal.first impressions go a long way i guess. we wished there wasn't smoking allowed in so many places. we come from a smoke-free state and it just stunk. they allow smoking in the casino (which you can smell throughout the adjoining shops and all the way to the sushi bar), in the cigar lounge (robusto), and in the piano bar. that left the el morocco lounge and the atmosphere-lacking el mojito lounge. not much. red carpet was 18+ years and it didn't need to be as far as i could see. it was the most consistently lively place there and would've been fun for everyone in our family to dance all together. they should make el morocco 18+ and open up red carpet for everyone. we had fun together, but in the end, it was not our style of cruising i guess. we liked the smaller ship and classier atmosphere of holland america and the food was so much better too. but this was a family-style trip and we wanted something for so many different age groups and interests. it was okay for that. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
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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