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This was our 25th Anniversary so we wanted to do everything right. We booked the air and cruise in Sept 06. We live in Cincinnati, so our air travel was from Cincy-JFK-VCE. We flew First class and let me tell you. It was worth the extra money. We arrived in Venice on 10 may, our cruise started on 12 May. We booked the Rialto Hotel on the island. We booked the hotel thru AAA online travel. We also booked our transfers thru AAA, who used Travelbound INC. The flight went without a hitch, and Travel Bound had a rep meet us at the airport. His name was Luigi, and he went with us in the boat to the hotel. The water taxi pulled up at the Rialto pier and we got out and walked right in the lobby of the hotel. This was very convenient. I did not want to stay at a hotel where I had to drag my bags thru the alleys. The hotel was nice, staff was friendly, and they recommended places to eat, shop, and see. There is plenty of shopping within steps of the hotel. All shops will usually barter with you for a price. The hotel also included breakfast with price of the room. We had set up a noon transfer on the 12th. Travel Bound arrived at 11:30 just to make sure everything went smooth. The agent from Travelbound rode in the water taxi with my wife and I. We arrived at the port around 12:20. WE took a shuttle bus from water taxi to the cruise terminal. It took us a total of ten minutes to check in, get our sea passes, and pass thru security. We were on the ship at 12:30,and were told we could not get into the junior suite until 1300. So I went to the dining room to check on table assignments, then up to the Windjammer for lunch. The Windjammer was completely refurbished last Fall. Our waiter told us about how extensive the renovation was. There was always a good selection of food and the choices were plenty. Outside the Windjammer, the kitchen would set up a buffet by the pool. They would set up a lunch buffet everyday, in case people wanted to eat at the pool. They also had coffee, tea, ice tea, and soft serve ice cream by the pool. The solarium started their buffet around noon. The food in the solarium was the same everyday, and it ran from noon to 2am. Pizza, burgers, hotdogs, salads, and sandwiches. That's a pretty good choice and the hours were great. On deck six they have added a Ben and Jerry's and Seattle's Best coffee. You can also get Seattle's best coffee at the pool bar, and Top Hat lounge. The condition of the ship was great. Everything looked clean, and the maintenance crew was always working on things. The captain and his staff were wonderful. Everytime I ran into a crew member they would ask me if they could help and asked me if I was enjoying my cruise. Our cabin steward (Rogie), was very nice. He would do anything he could to make our trip enjoyable. Our wait staff in the King and I dining room were wonderful. On the first night our waiter and ass't waiter didn't seem to click. On day two the ass't waiter was moved and we received a new ass't waiter, who was excellent. The head waiter was at our table every night, he cut your food up, even though he didn't have to, and would normally chat at least five to ten minutes every night. On board entertainment was great. We saw magicians, motown review, oldies show, blues brothers, argentina gauchos, and a wonderful female singer from Scotland. The shows were professional, well done, and the cast enjoyed themselves. Our cruise director Leo Pappa, was great. Every day his number one concern was to make sure we felt at home. The difference with some cruise directors is: some do what they have to do to make your vacation fun. Leo actually enjoyed being a part of all the activities, and tried his best to include everyone. Our cruise was seven days long. When we arrived back in Venice on the 19th it took my wife and I five minutes to disembark. We stayed in our cabin until we heard our number called, then we took elevator down to deck two and walked right off. Again, Travel Bound rep met us as soon as we got off, and took us to our hotel. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott at the airport. I knew the airport would be a total mess, so that is why we left the following day. On Sunday we breezed thru the airport with no problems. Shore Excursions: 1. Dubrovnik, Croatia. Ship docks about two miles from town.A must see. This is truly a hidden gem. The wall that surround the city has some of the most breath taking scenery. Its a great picture taking opportunity. The people of Croatia love seeing all the tourists. 2. Ephasus, Turkey. You dock right on the edge of town. Touring the ancient ruins of Ephasus is well worth your time. If you have ever read the Bible, you will enjoy this tour. There are so many things in Ephasus, that comes right from stories in the Bible. Some of the best shopping on the trip was in town. All shops will bargain with you. 3. Santorini, Greece. Ship tenders in lagoon. There is no dock in Santorini. This stop had the most breath taking views. The best photo ops were here. Transportation can be tricky. The entire island sits very high, with the towns sitting up very high. The only way to get up to the top where shopping is, you have to take cable car, or walk, (which can take a long time), or you can ride a donkey up. You can actually ride the donkey up and down. The wait for the cable car can run up to an hour depending on how many cruise ships are in port. Shopping here is good. 4. Corfu, Greece. Ship docks about a mile from downtown,. The Greek Orthodox monastery, and Achillion Palace are must sees. They are on opposite sides of the island so it will take about an hour to get from one to the other. All and All I would rate our vacation and cruise a Ten. The ship was great, the crew was great, the airlines were great, hotels and transfers were great, and most of all the weather was great. We had wonderful weather for ten straight days. I will definitely be back on Royal Caribbean. Next time we will be taking our kids and grandkids. Cheers

Splendour of the Seas - Eastern Mediterranean

Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by Tim Kerwin

Trip Details
This was our 25th Anniversary so we wanted to do everything right. We booked the air and cruise in Sept 06. We live in Cincinnati, so our air travel was from Cincy-JFK-VCE. We flew First class and let me tell you. It was worth the extra money. We arrived in Venice on 10 may, our cruise started on 12 May. We booked the Rialto Hotel on the island. We booked the hotel thru AAA online travel. We also booked our transfers thru AAA, who used Travelbound INC. The flight went without a hitch, and Travel Bound had a rep meet us at the airport. His name was Luigi, and he went with us in the boat to the hotel. The water taxi pulled up at the Rialto pier and we got out and walked right in the lobby of the hotel. This was very convenient. I did not want to stay at a hotel where I had to drag my bags thru the alleys. The hotel was nice, staff was friendly, and they recommended places to eat, shop, and see. There is plenty of shopping within steps of the hotel. All shops will usually barter with you for a price. The hotel also included breakfast with price of the room. We had set up a noon transfer on the 12th. Travel Bound arrived at 11:30 just to make sure everything went smooth. The agent from Travelbound rode in the water taxi with my wife and I.
We arrived at the port around 12:20. WE took a shuttle bus from water taxi to the cruise terminal. It took us a total of ten minutes to check in, get our sea passes, and pass thru security. We were on the ship at 12:30,and were told we could not get into the junior suite until 1300. So I went to the dining room to check on table assignments, then up to the Windjammer for lunch. The Windjammer was completely refurbished last Fall. Our waiter told us about how extensive the renovation was. There was always a good selection of food and the choices were plenty. Outside the Windjammer, the kitchen would set up a buffet by the pool. They would set up a lunch buffet everyday, in case people wanted to eat at the pool. They also had coffee, tea, ice tea, and soft serve ice cream by the pool. The solarium started their buffet around noon. The food in the solarium was the same everyday, and it ran from noon to 2am. Pizza, burgers, hotdogs, salads, and sandwiches. That's a pretty good choice and the hours were great. On deck six they have added a Ben and Jerry's and Seattle's Best coffee. You can also get Seattle's best coffee at the pool bar, and Top Hat lounge. The condition of the ship was great. Everything looked clean, and the maintenance crew was always working on things. The captain and his staff were wonderful. Everytime I ran into a crew member they would ask me if they could help and asked me if I was enjoying my cruise. Our cabin steward (Rogie), was very nice. He would do anything he could to make our trip enjoyable. Our wait staff in the King and I dining room were wonderful. On the first night our waiter and ass't waiter didn't seem to click. On day two the ass't waiter was moved and we received a new ass't waiter, who was excellent. The head waiter was at our table every night, he cut your food up, even though he didn't have to, and would normally chat at least five to ten minutes every night.
On board entertainment was great. We saw magicians, motown review, oldies show, blues brothers, argentina gauchos, and a wonderful female singer from Scotland. The shows were professional, well done, and the cast enjoyed themselves. Our cruise director Leo Pappa, was great. Every day his number one concern was to make sure we felt at home. The difference with some cruise directors is: some do what they have to do to make your vacation fun. Leo actually enjoyed being a part of all the activities, and tried his best to include everyone. Our cruise was seven days long. When we arrived back in Venice on the 19th it took my wife and I five minutes to disembark. We stayed in our cabin until we heard our number called, then we took elevator down to deck two and walked right off. Again, Travel Bound rep met us as soon as we got off, and took us to our hotel. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott at the airport. I knew the airport would be a total mess, so that is why we left the following day. On Sunday we breezed thru the airport with no problems. Shore Excursions: 1. Dubrovnik, Croatia. Ship docks about two miles from town.A must see. This is truly a hidden gem. The wall that surround the city has some of the most breath taking scenery. Its a great picture taking opportunity. The people of Croatia love seeing all the tourists. 2. Ephasus, Turkey. You dock right on the edge of town. Touring the ancient ruins of Ephasus is well worth your time. If you have ever read the Bible, you will enjoy this tour. There are so many things in Ephasus, that comes right from stories in the Bible. Some of the best shopping on the trip was in town. All shops will bargain with you. 3. Santorini, Greece. Ship tenders in lagoon. There is no dock in Santorini. This stop had the most breath taking views. The best photo ops were here. Transportation can be tricky. The entire island sits very high, with the towns sitting up very high. The only way to get up to the top where shopping is, you have to take cable car, or walk, (which can take a long time), or you can ride a donkey up. You can actually ride the donkey up and down. The wait for the cable car can run up to an hour depending on how many cruise ships are in port. Shopping here is good. 4. Corfu, Greece. Ship docks about a mile from downtown,. The Greek Orthodox monastery, and Achillion Palace are must sees. They are on opposite sides of the island so it will take about an hour to get from one to the other. All and All I would rate our vacation and cruise a Ten. The ship was great, the crew was great, the airlines were great, hotels and transfers were great, and most of all the weather was great. We had wonderful weather for ten straight days. I will definitely be back on Royal Caribbean. Next time we will be taking our kids and grandkids. Cheers
Tim Kerwin’s Full Rating Summary
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