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After a long day of traveling, we arrived home from Barcelona at 9:15pm, New Mexico time! We had a very large cruise critic group and let me say, we had an extremely wonderful time and a fantastic group! We arrived in Houston about 10:20am, collected our luggage and had a short wait for the transfer to Galveston. We arrived at the pier about 11:45. RCI did a fantastic job with the transfers and check-in, and we were aboard by 12:15pm for lunch! The only complaint that we had was that they collected our passports at embarkation and would not be returning them until the end of our cruise. Being an American in a foreign port, it is imperative that you have a passport with you when going ashore. I would recommend that anyone doing a transatlantic or Med cruise to make a copy of their passport and carry it with them when going ashore. Many passengers, did indeed, collect their passports when we arrived in the Azores and the ship was very accommodating with this issue. Our cabins were ready upon our arrival. Our basic, category M inside cabin was very small and we did not have a lot of storage space. The new bedding was wonderful and very comfortable. We stowed our carry-ons and went up to the Windjammer for lunch. The food was plentiful in the Windjammer and very tasty. Choices ranged from cold cuts to pasta with plenty of hot and cold dishes and a wide array of desserts with many sugar free choices. Tea and lemonade were available for self-serve. We did a little bit of exploring after lunch to re-acquaint ourselves with Splendour. My first impression: they were lacking some help in the Windjammer, as the tables were not cleared very quickly. The ship showed every bit of her 11 years and is in need of a good refurbishment. I also felt that she was not as clean as she should have been and I told the hotel manager just that. At 3pm, we ventured up to the pool bar to await our cruise critic friends. Our sailaway party was a success and we met many of the people we had been chatting with for the months prior to the cruise. We seemed to be a well-blended group with very friendly cruisers and I am sure some long-term friendships have been formed. We had early seating for dinner, so we returned to the cabin to freshen up before our early seating. Still no luggage and I was worried that I would be called to the "naughty room"! Fortunately since were close by the aft elevators, I took a walk over and found the luggage! All were intact and still locked. No suspicious orange tags! At 6:10pm, we entered the dining room to meet some of our cruisecritic members who had asked to join us for dinner. We had a very lively table and our waitress, Erica, had problems getting us to listen to her recommendations from the dinner menu as we were having a great time getting acquainted! This became a nightly occurrence with our waitress, which I found highly annoying, as she would keep saying, "If you could please give me your attention". I never have a problem deciding what to eat and I did not feel like I needed a recommendation! Our assistant waitress, Trixie, was a true gem and we had very good service in the dining room. The food was a good assortment of fish, pasta, beef and chicken along with vegetarian choices or options for grilled chicken, steak, salmon and another pasta dish if one did not care for the main selections. Some of the steak selections were tough, I had the salmon twice, prime rib was excellent, steak Diane was disappointing, for the most part, the food was good, very flavorful, not what I would call great. Most nights, I ordered the sugar free desserts or low fat. These were very good, as was the ice cream! Many of the regular desserts that my DH ordered, I did taste and they were very good, but I found none truly outstanding. As usual, we avoided all the shows, but we were told that many were very good, some just ok. This is when we usually like to have a quiet drink right after dinner in the Schooner bar, right after a nightly round of trivia naturally! In the evenings, we listened to karaoke, then, we'd head up to the Viking Crown for some dancing and great conversation with our new friends. Unfortunately, I think someone forgot to tell the crew that many of the passengers actually wanted to stay up past midnight, as they would make a last call for drinks about 12:45 am, and then close the bar at 1 am. Many of the passengers found this highly irritating as with six days at sea, what did we have to get up for the next morning? Our first port of call was Key West, Florida. It was a beautiful day in Key West and we took a tour through the Mel Fisher Museum, explored some of the shops, and then, had a nice cocktail before heading back to the Splendour. Our crossing was very smooth and the captain opted for the more northern route into Ponta Delgada. Our weather during the day was in the 70's and sunny. We had lots to do during the day, trivia, dance lessons, art auctions, so the six day crossing went by very quickly. We arrived in Ponta Delgada, Azores at 7am. Since we had been there last year, we opted just to explore the town. I used my ATM card to get my euros. It cost me just over $136 for 100 euros. The bank fee was $1.36. Many stores in Ponta Delgada accepted dollars, so currency exchange was not a problem! We had a very nice day, spring like weather and as we were due to sail at 1:30 pm, we made our way back onboard about 12:30. The ship did not receive the fuel it needed to continue our voyage, so the captain extended our time until 4 pm! We now had 3 hours to make up to get us into Cadiz, Spain. The captain told us that we would be one hour late into Cadiz and that he was going to have to travel at top speed to get us there. This was not a problem for any of the passengers except for the fact that we were entering a storm outside Ponta Delgada! The near gale kept us rocking and pitching until we reached Cadiz, but it wasn't too bad, just a very heavy wind across the deck. We arrived in Cadiz at 2:00pm. We docked in the heart of the commercial district, but it didn't do us much good as the Spanish take a siesta from 1:30 until 5:30pm! We roamed the pedestrian district and stopped off at a couple of Tapas bars. We returned to the ship at 5:30pm to pick up Dad, then off to eat onshore. We had a very nice dinner at La Candela, then roamed the shops on our way back to the pier about 8pm. Our next day was calm and sunny enroute to Barcelona. We arrived in Barcelona at 5am and we were off the ship and on our way to the airport at 7:30. Disembarkation in Europe is better than anywhere else! Our bags were tagged and loaded on buses and arrived when we did at the airport! We had a bit of a wait prior to check-in for our 1:05pm flight. We had a great flight back on Delta, cleared customs in Atlanta and arrived back home in Las Cruces at 9:15pm. All in all, our cruise critic members made this a terrific and memorable cruise. To RCI, the ship could be cleaner, better maintained and service could be improved upon.

Splendour of the Seas - Trans-Atlantic

Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by julieanne

Trip Details
After a long day of traveling, we arrived home from Barcelona at 9:15pm, New Mexico time! We had a very large cruise critic group and let me say, we had an extremely wonderful time and a fantastic group! We arrived in Houston about 10:20am, collected our luggage and had a short wait for the transfer to Galveston. We arrived at the pier about 11:45. RCI did a fantastic job with the transfers and check-in, and we were aboard by 12:15pm for lunch! The only complaint that we had was that they collected our passports at embarkation and would not be returning them until the end of our cruise. Being an American in a foreign port, it is imperative that you have a passport with you when going ashore. I would recommend that anyone doing a transatlantic or Med cruise to make a copy of their passport and carry it with them when going ashore. Many passengers, did indeed, collect their passports when we arrived in the Azores and the ship was very accommodating with this issue.
Our cabins were ready upon our arrival. Our basic, category M inside cabin was very small and we did not have a lot of storage space. The new bedding was wonderful and very comfortable. We stowed our carry-ons and went up to the Windjammer for lunch. The food was plentiful in the Windjammer and very tasty. Choices ranged from cold cuts to pasta with plenty of hot and cold dishes and a wide array of desserts with many sugar free choices. Tea and lemonade were available for self-serve. We did a little bit of exploring after lunch to re-acquaint ourselves with Splendour. My first impression: they were lacking some help in the Windjammer, as the tables were not cleared very quickly. The ship showed every bit of her 11 years and is in need of a good refurbishment. I also felt that she was not as clean as she should have been and I told the hotel manager just that. At 3pm, we ventured up to the pool bar to await our cruise critic friends. Our sailaway party was a success and we met many of the people we had been chatting with for the months prior to the cruise. We seemed to be a well-blended group with very friendly cruisers and I am sure some long-term friendships have been formed. We had early seating for dinner, so we returned to the cabin to freshen up before our early seating. Still no luggage and I was worried that I would be called to the "naughty room"! Fortunately since were close by the aft elevators, I took a walk over and found the luggage! All were intact and still locked. No suspicious orange tags! At 6:10pm, we entered the dining room to meet some of our cruisecritic members who had asked to join us for dinner. We had a very lively table and our waitress, Erica, had problems getting us to listen to her recommendations from the dinner menu as we were having a great time getting acquainted! This became a nightly occurrence with our waitress, which I found highly annoying, as she would keep saying, "If you could please give me your attention". I never have a problem deciding what to eat and I did not feel like I needed a recommendation! Our assistant waitress, Trixie, was a true gem and we had very good service in the dining room. The food was a good assortment of fish, pasta, beef and chicken along with vegetarian choices or options for grilled chicken, steak, salmon and another pasta dish if one did not care for the main selections. Some of the steak selections were tough, I had the salmon twice, prime rib was excellent, steak Diane was disappointing, for the most part, the food was good, very flavorful, not what I would call great. Most nights, I ordered the sugar free desserts or low fat. These were very good, as was the ice cream! Many of the regular desserts that my DH ordered, I did taste and they were very good, but I found none truly outstanding.
As usual, we avoided all the shows, but we were told that many were very good, some just ok. This is when we usually like to have a quiet drink right after dinner in the Schooner bar, right after a nightly round of trivia naturally! In the evenings, we listened to karaoke, then, we'd head up to the Viking Crown for some dancing and great conversation with our new friends. Unfortunately, I think someone forgot to tell the crew that many of the passengers actually wanted to stay up past midnight, as they would make a last call for drinks about 12:45 am, and then close the bar at 1 am. Many of the passengers found this highly irritating as with six days at sea, what did we have to get up for the next morning?
Our first port of call was Key West, Florida. It was a beautiful day in Key West and we took a tour through the Mel Fisher Museum, explored some of the shops, and then, had a nice cocktail before heading back to the Splendour. Our crossing was very smooth and the captain opted for the more northern route into Ponta Delgada. Our weather during the day was in the 70's and sunny. We had lots to do during the day, trivia, dance lessons, art auctions, so the six day crossing went by very quickly. We arrived in Ponta Delgada, Azores at 7am. Since we had been there last year, we opted just to explore the town. I used my ATM card to get my euros. It cost me just over $136 for 100 euros. The bank fee was $1.36. Many stores in Ponta Delgada accepted dollars, so currency exchange was not a problem! We had a very nice day, spring like weather and as we were due to sail at 1:30 pm, we made our way back onboard about 12:30. The ship did not receive the fuel it needed to continue our voyage, so the captain extended our time until 4 pm! We now had 3 hours to make up to get us into Cadiz, Spain. The captain told us that we would be one hour late into Cadiz and that he was going to have to travel at top speed to get us there. This was not a problem for any of the passengers except for the fact that we were entering a storm outside Ponta Delgada! The near gale kept us rocking and pitching until we reached Cadiz, but it wasn't too bad, just a very heavy wind across the deck. We arrived in Cadiz at 2:00pm. We docked in the heart of the commercial district, but it didn't do us much good as the Spanish take a siesta from 1:30 until 5:30pm! We roamed the pedestrian district and stopped off at a couple of Tapas bars. We returned to the ship at 5:30pm to pick up Dad, then off to eat onshore. We had a very nice dinner at La Candela, then roamed the shops on our way back to the pier about 8pm. Our next day was calm and sunny enroute to Barcelona. We arrived in Barcelona at 5am and we were off the ship and on our way to the airport at 7:30. Disembarkation in Europe is better than anywhere else! Our bags were tagged and loaded on buses and arrived when we did at the airport! We had a bit of a wait prior to check-in for our 1:05pm flight. We had a great flight back on Delta, cleared customs in Atlanta and arrived back home in Las Cruces at 9:15pm. All in all, our cruise critic members made this a terrific and memorable cruise. To RCI, the ship could be cleaner, better maintained and service could be improved upon.
julieanne’s Full Rating Summary
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