Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by thertel3
- Sail Date: July 2008
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
We arrived in Venice on Thursday, July 10 around 5 pm. We stayed at the Santa Chiara Hotel because of its location. It was right next to the Piazzale Roma (where the bus from the airport dropped us off) and it was within walking distance to the port. We've stayed in nicer hotels but because of its convenient location, friendly staff and easy choice of walking or taking the free bus to the ship I would highly recommend it.
We toured around Venice Thursday evening and Friday morning. We took the free shuttle to the port around noon. Check in was very easy. Although I had checked in online alot of what we did was redundant but still easy. we were on the ship and in our rooms by 1 pm and relaxing by the pool by 1:30 pm. We had our safety drill around 4 pm and we pulled out of the port in Venice at 5 pm. We were finally starting our first cruise vacation!
Our itinerary included: Split, Croatia Hiraklion, Crete Kusadasi, Turkey Santorini, Greece Corfu, Greece
I'm not going to go into detail on our stops in each port. People have their own likes and dislikes. I will say I was disappointed in the off shore excursions offered by Royal Caribbean. We learned very quickly that we could get off the ship, find a cab on our own and get to our preferred destination much easier than taking something arranged through the ship. By far the biggest complaint we had about the off shore excursions offered on board was the travel time to get to and from the excursion site. We spent an hour and a half to two hours round trip on a bus listening to the tour guide drone on and on about something they were trying to sell (rugs in Turkey, for example). The cabs would take us to the same locations the ship's excursions would take you and we got there much faster. Make arrangements with your cab driver to come back and pick you up at a particular location and time. Every time we did this we negotiated a complete price and pickup time. The cab driver accepted partial payment, returned on time, and took us back to the ship where we would pay the remainder of the fare. We would also include a nice tip because for the most part these guys were very friendly and informative about the locations they were taking us to.
About the ship. The Splendor of the Seas is an older ship and it shows. But this being our first cruise, we really had nothing to compare the ship to. In my opinion it was prefect. We had a cabin at the back of the ship, so we had a balcony. I couldn't imagine being on a cruise ship without being able to enjoy the view. Our kids had a cabin right across the hall - no windows. But very convenient to us. The activities offered on board were fun, the kids had a great time and my wife and I had one of the best vacations we've ever had in our 20+ years of marriage.
Arriving back in Venice was problem free. Getting off the ship was organized and our bags were waiting for us. We walked from the ship back to Piazzale Roma where I bought tickets on the blue AVTO bus back to the airport. Our only mistake was going back to the airport way too early. We should have spent more time walking around Venice.
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in cruising the Western Mediterranean. I think the one reason we liked this cruise so much was the diversity of the ports. Every stop offered something very different than the last. The biggest disappointment was the salt water pool on the ship. We still had fun at the pool but I never got used to the salt water.
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