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We took the February 24 Panama Canal cruise on Splendor of the Seas. This was our fourth cruise and first on a Royal Caribbean ship. I would rate this cruise worse than the others but that was not all bad. This was the easiest ship to board. Even though we got to the ship early (we only live 30 miles away) boarding was quick and easy. Parking was no problem but have $80 ready as you must pay in cash in advance. We were on the ship in time for lunch and our cabin was clean and ready. About 2 hours after boarding our luggage was delivered to the cabin. The cabins showed their age but were well kept by our steward who was friendly and attentive. We had a mini-suite which was of good size with plenty of closet space and adequate drawer space. The beds were low and caused a problem when trying to store our suitcases under them. They were also hard and both my wife and I had problems sleeping. There are only 2 places to eat on the ship, either the main dining room or the buffet. There were a few mini-buffets on the pool deck for lunch. The dinner food varied from fair to very good. One fish dish seemed spoiled with a strong smell and was inedible. Service was very good, friendly and attentive. After only a couple of meals our waiters knew our preferences and catered to our wants without being asked. The headwaiter never failed to stop by our table and talk with us and ask if we needed anything. Breakfast was a weak point. Dining room service was slow and we only ate there a couple of times. Don't order huevos rancheros which was 2 eggs with some tomato sauce and a bowl of pork and beans. The breakfast buffet was a European menu, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and potatoes every day without variation. Pancakes and French toast were available but they were precooked and were invariably cold and served with cold syrup. There was a small selection of fruit and cold cuts and cheese. The breads were always good at all meals. There is an omelet station which was very good but it was impossible to get hot eggs and fresh toast at the same time since each involved waiting at different spots while they were prepared. There is no coffee service so a second cup is difficult if you are alone because you have to go back to the buffet to get it yourself and since the room is crowded in the morning you will probably lose your table. Lunch in the dining room was the best part of the dining experience. Service was fast and the food was always good with several excellent choices at every meal. We tried the buffet twice and while the food was adequate the room was crowded and it didn't compare to the dining room. The stage entertainment was some of the best we have seen on all of our cruises. The musical shows were all excellent with wonderful voices and dancers. The entertainers that were brought on the ship at various ports were all outstanding, including a couple of afternoon shows, and everything brought standing ovations. Daytime activities at sea were not as good but this was not a problem as we used the time to relax, read and just kick back. They had a lecture series on the Panama Canal and the Caribbean which was excellent. Other than the canal and Grand Cayman we didn't care much for the ports. Jamaica was especially bad as our "Best of Jamaica" tour was a total loss. We complained and the ship returned half of the cost. Going through the canal was awesome. We were perfectly positioned to watch from our balcony as we locked through. It was the highlight of the trip. Grand Cayman was beautiful. It was also clean and without all the pushy street vendors of the other ports. Overall we would rate the trip average. On a scale of 1 to 5 the ship was a 3, the food was a 3, the entertainment was a 5 and the ports were a 3 only because of the Canal, otherwise they would be a 2. Perhaps this cruise suffered from the fact that our previous cruise was Alaska. dicka@ev1.net June 2003

Splendour of the Seas

Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by dicka

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 1899
  • Destination:
We took the February 24 Panama Canal cruise on Splendor of the Seas. This was our fourth cruise and first on a Royal Caribbean ship. I would rate this cruise worse than the others but that was not all bad.

This was the easiest ship to board. Even though we got to the ship early (we only live 30 miles away) boarding was quick and easy. Parking was no problem but have $80 ready as you must pay in cash in advance. We were on the ship in time for lunch and our cabin was clean and ready. About 2 hours after boarding our luggage was delivered to the cabin.

The cabins showed their age but were well kept by our steward who was friendly and attentive. We had a mini-suite which was of good size with plenty of closet space and adequate drawer space. The beds were low and caused a problem when trying to store our suitcases under them. They were also hard and both my wife and I had problems sleeping.

There are only 2 places to eat on the ship, either the main dining room or the buffet. There were a few mini-buffets on the pool deck for lunch. The dinner food varied from fair to very good. One fish dish seemed spoiled with a strong smell and was inedible. Service was very good, friendly and attentive. After only a couple of meals our waiters knew our preferences and catered to our wants without being asked. The headwaiter never failed to stop by our table and talk with us and ask if we needed anything.

Breakfast was a weak point. Dining room service was slow and we only ate there a couple of times. Don't order huevos rancheros which was 2 eggs with some tomato sauce and a bowl of pork and beans. The breakfast buffet was a European menu, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and potatoes every day without variation. Pancakes and French toast were available but they were precooked and were invariably cold and served with cold syrup. There was a small selection of fruit and cold cuts and cheese. The breads were always good at all meals. There is an omelet station which was very good but it was impossible to get hot eggs and fresh toast at the same time since each involved waiting at different spots while they were prepared. There is no coffee service so a second cup is difficult if you are alone because you have to go back to the buffet to get it yourself and since the room is crowded in the morning you will probably lose your table.

Lunch in the dining room was the best part of the dining experience. Service was fast and the food was always good with several excellent choices at every meal. We tried the buffet twice and while the food was adequate the room was crowded and it didn't compare to the dining room.

The stage entertainment was some of the best we have seen on all of our cruises. The musical shows were all excellent with wonderful voices and dancers. The entertainers that were brought on the ship at various ports were all outstanding, including a couple of afternoon shows, and everything brought standing ovations. Daytime activities at sea were not as good but this was not a problem as we used the time to relax, read and just kick back. They had a lecture series on the Panama Canal and the Caribbean which was excellent.

Other than the canal and Grand Cayman we didn't care much for the ports. Jamaica was especially bad as our "Best of Jamaica" tour was a total loss. We complained and the ship returned half of the cost. Going through the canal was awesome. We were perfectly positioned to watch from our balcony as we locked through. It was the highlight of the trip. Grand Cayman was beautiful. It was also clean and without all the pushy street vendors of the other ports.

Overall we would rate the trip average. On a scale of 1 to 5 the ship was a 3, the food was a 3, the entertainment was a 5 and the ports were a 3 only because of the Canal, otherwise they would be a 2. Perhaps this cruise suffered from the fact that our previous cruise was Alaska.

dicka@ev1.net
June 2003
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