Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by nycgirl0618
- Sail Date: September 2008
- Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Superior Interior Stateroom
It was pouring rain when we arrived at the port. We left our luggage with the porters on a small uncovered loading area. We then boarded the shuttle bus to take us the port terminal. Check In went very fast and we got our sea passes in about 5 minutes. What was annoying was waiting for our number to be called to go through security. Everyone was called in groups of 20 which seemed more disorganized than if everyone would just go through as they got their sea pass.
Cabin Our superior interior cabin was a nice size and very clean. The bathroom was very small but I was expecting this. The shower curtains could be replaced. They are old and ratty looking. There was no enough drawer space but I'm not sure how to create more room for drawers. The closets were a decent size and we had enough hangers. Our steward Alphesus was great. He did a fantastic job and he was a pleasure.
Food I was very nervous after reading past reviews. Well, I thought the food was very good. Not outstanding, but not horrible either. It was tasty and I always enjoyed my meals. The service in the Dining Room was excellent. Our Head Waiter Antony made sure everything went smoothly. Our waiter Baiju was outstanding and he gave us excellent choices. Our bar server Flavia always had our drinks waiting. There were always a variety of choices and I enjoyed every meal I had. The servers in Windjammer were friendly with the exception of the guy in the morning serving coffee who thought he was doing everyone a favor. The Windjammer food did get boring day in and out but it's a buffet. The burgers were not too appealing because they sit in a pan of their own juice and grease. Still, there are enough choices to keep you full. Entertainment Ugh, not a high point of the cruise. It was pretty bad. The cruise director, Jill works with what she has. I found her more amusing than most of the shows we saw.
Service The people I was everyday (cabin attendant, dining room servers)were terrific. The bar servers are pretty bad except for the ones by the pool bar. A lot of them are unfamiliar with the drinks and some are just downright slow and stupid. We did have one or two that were decent by on a whole they could all use a training seminar. I had no on board issues but a number of people did and the Pursers Desk did not seem to be helping them. Customer Service seemed to be lacking for a lot of people.
Ports I loved them all. Explore on your own. I booked Private guides or took taxis on my own. It was sometimes cheaper and I saw more than my fellow passengers on shore excursions.
Venice A beautiful city. Walk until you can't anymore. Buy a good map and you won't get lost. St. Marks at night is overwhelmingly beautiful. I'm not ashamed to say I cried when I saw it. Buy a pass for the vaporetto if you are there more than a day. It will save you money.
Croatia If you intend to walk the wall. Do this first. I took a 10Euro taxi ride and beat all the tour buses. Their was still a long line because other ships were in port. There is another entrance at the end of the Stadium if you veer left. I wish I took that one. There was no line at all. They took Euros and Kunas. I don't think they accepted US Dollars. Hold on to your tickets. They get checked about half way around. There is a cash machine before you enter Pile Gate on the right (next to a cafe) and many machines on the main street called the Stadium. The views were beautiful. We walked the wall for maybe an hour and then looked at all the shops. It started raining so I never made it to Banje Beach. We took another cab back to the ship.
Turkey. Hired a great guide through Ekol Travel. Ask for Rabia if you use them. I loved her. For $160, I saw Isa Bey Mosque, St. Johns, Bascilia, Ephesus, Terrace Houses, Temple of Artemis and Mary's House. It was a great day . I learned a lot and saw some great sites. The vendors are very very aggressive which I did not like. I would have bought more stuff if they didn't annoy me so much.
Corfu Hired a cab for $100 Euro to take us to Paleo. It's beautiful. Just know that this is not an American beach. No sand. Lots of rocks and pebbles. The water was too cold for us to swim. We took a ferry ride for $10E each to see the bays and the caves. Walked in town. I really enjoyed Corfu.
Santorini The best for last. I loved this place. In fact I planned the whole cruise around Santorini. It's picture perfect. Like Corfu, the people are so friendly and inviting. I could have spent a week here. We took a 20Euro cab ride to Oia. Looked around for a couple of hours and then waited for the bus that never came to go back to Fira. It must have been 20minutes behind schedule. We saw it first going to Oia on the cab we took back to Fira. We had lunch in Fira, walked around and went back to the ship.
Tender Process-A Royal mess. We had to be down to get tender tickets at 7:30am. We get there at 7:15am. The only staff member there is for shore excursions and she tells us that people waiting for tender tickets are sitting in the first row and we should ask them what to do. I should ask the other passengers? Good system. This goes on for the next 20 people and we try to organize ourselves. Finally the girl with the tickets comes in and is just standing around as more and more people come in. She announces everyone in the room will be on the first tender because she has 100 tickets and she will give them out shortly. She stands around some more and by now the room is filling up. She says she will give the tickets out at the back of the room. Everyone that has been there since 6:30am is upset because the people that just walked in are now getting tickets first and it looks like there is now more than 100 people in the room. We finally get the tickets but the fun doesn't stop. The cable car line was long and messy. Lots of pushing and cutting in line. The cable car is 4.50Euro each way. If you are on a shore excursion you will get off the boat first at a different part of Santorini. The boat then repositions and then lets the rest of the passengers off about an hour later. Being a small boat, it always seems crowded. Not enough seats at Windjammer, not enough bars and they are short staffed. We had bad weather so that could be a factor too. 2,000 people with nothing to do at sea day except eat, drink and play scrabble.
The constant hawking of shore excursions and shopping guides gets on the nerves. You would think more time should be spent on the historical significance of the places we are visiting and not buying earrings where Barbara Bush shops.
You do feel like you are being nickeled and dimed. Paying for soda seems silly. Really, how much is that costing them? The soda card is way too expensive to make it worthwhile. And $20 for photos is outrageous. Spa services are a rip-off. I live in NY and have never ever paid $45 for a manicure.
Overall, I had a great cruise. I did not think I would enjoy Splendor as much as I did. I would sail on her again and would recommend her to others. I had such a good time I will book another RCCL cruise to see the Western Mediterranean.
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