Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by houtx1559
- Sail Date: December 2006
- Destination: Western Caribbean
Boarding: Boarding process was quick and easy, with hardly any wait at all. We live near Galveston so had driven down and parked at the Port of Galveston lot ($45 for this cruise prepaid). You drop your luggage off with the porter and then park and a bus brings you back to the terminal. We found RCI boarding in Galveston much easier than Carnival's was, and the check-in staff friendlier.
Room and room steward: We had an Ocean View room on deck 3 because we took a special offer deal they had offered. The room was nice and normal size for cruise ships, but the shower was a little on the small side if you're a large person. Our room steward was Dior (or Diobeth) and she did a wonderful job. She couldn't memorize everyone's names as some do, but she made sure she remembered any special requests like extra towels.
Main Dinning Room: If you like cruise ship dinning with assigned seating you will like Splendour. The food varied a little but to me was a little better than some other ships. We also really lucked out with our table mates. Both couples were great company and became good friends. The service was very good as well. The only small fault was that they couldn't seem to bake soft bread, everything had a hard crust on it, but still tasted good.
Windjammer: The windjammer buffet was normal for RCI and you could most always find something you liked. I've seen comments about the breakfast buffet having runny eggs on some RCI ships, but I've never found that to be the case, and it wasn't on Splendour. You could get eggs to order and omelets, if you didn't mind a short wait.
Entertainment: We didn't make it to all of the shows, or hear all of the bands so I'll only comment on those we did see. The Taylors are a dance and comedy couple. Their dancing is better than their comedy, but since their dancing is great, the comedy wasn't all that bad either. Los Pampas Gauchos is a family act I have seen in Las Vegas and also on Rhapsody of the Seas. The act on Splendour is the youngest team, and aren't quite as good as their parents, but if you have never seen the act you will enjoy it. The RCI singers and dancers were the normal talented group, but they had a featured dance pair and only six dancers. I thought the group on
Rhapsody was better. The cruise director was Simeon Baker. He was like a lot of other cruise directors, right down to using the same joke we have heard before.
Ports: Cozumel, is Cozumel. We love the place! I would warn anyone who hasn't been there before that if you take a tour that goes over to Playa del Carmen by tender, this time of year is can be very rough! It's about a 20 minute trip, and anyone with any tendency to become seasick will. The up side is that this time of year the temperature is mild and the weather was wonderful. Costa Maya: This was our first time to Costa Maya and we loved it! So far I haven't heard any bad comments about this port. Like most of the ports, make sure you discuss the price with any of the shops. They can now dock three ships at Costa Maya, and we had three there, Splendour, Carnival Liberty, and HAL Veenland. Despite this, it didn't really seem too crowded.
Now for the down side of the trip, and Splendour. For some reason, the pursers desk, and personnel on Splendour just aren't up to RCI standards. One of my bags got placed in the wrong room the first day. When I tried to report it to the pursers desk, they weren't helpful or even very interested. I also had a problem when I tried to use a coupon from RCI's book to get an extra $5 credit on WiFi internet. After three tries with the pursers desk, I gave up and never got the credit. Each time they assured me it was taken care of, but it never was. Then when the toilet wouldn't flush, we reported it to maintenance and saw the men working on the problem (it was in that area of the ship). But when my DW asked the pursers desk how long it might take to fix, she was told that there was no problem and the maintenance wasn't working on anything in that area! Of all the people I talked with, I only heard one good comment about the purser's staff, and that was about one person in particular. The same person rated the rest of the pursers staff as rude and unfriendly. RCI really needs to look into this, there's something wrong.
The other down side to the trip wasn't RCI's fault. The first day out it was really cold and windy, but we were prepared for that. The last full day at sea (Friday) we had force 9 winds (45MPH) and seas over 20 feet! Anyone prone to motion sickness had a really rough time of it. Both pools were closed and drained, and the Windjammer buffet had spray beating against the windows! Things did settle down a bit after dark.
I found one other thing a bit unusual, as did many other passengers. We heard from the Captain on the PA system at least once a day, but I only met one passenger who actually saw the man. The Captain's reception was handled by the Staff Captain, and the one person who did actually see the Captain commented that he wasn't very sociable. I don't know if this is really a problem, he did have a lot to do, but on other ships you normally see the Captain several times, and most of them take part in some of the functions at least once.
Overall I would have to say that one shouldn't judge RCI in general by any experience with Splendour of the Seas. Mostly due to the purser's staff, Splendour is well below normal RCI standards.
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