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.
Very large ocean view cabin with floor to ceiling window, plenty of room for two of us, although there was another full size bed that could be used, I don't know where four people would store everything. The bathroom was on the small side, with the shower having a pull around curtain instead of a door. The curtain wasn't long enough so the floor was wet every time we showered.