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My DW and I cruised the Splendour Nov. 1. This was our 2nd RCL cruise of the Mediterranean; last year we did the Voyager from Barcelona. Our flights and connections were all seamless. We flew Air France from O'Hare to CDG to Venice; the return was on KLM from Venice to Amsterdam to O'Hare. We stayed one night pre-cruise at the Courtyard by Marriott in Venice and one night post-cruise at the Hilton Stucky. Both hotels met our needs. The Hilton was exceptional. I would recommend it to anybody. The hotel offers a free shuttle to Zattere and San Marco on a regular basis. I know this hotel might be pricey, but were able to get a great rate 145 euros per night. It was more than worth it. The embarkation was the best we had ever experienced. After taking a 20 minute shuttle from our hotel (Airport Courtyard by Marriott) we arrived at the cruise terminal at 11:20 a.m. and we were on board within 25 minutes. There were no lines at all. We weren't allowed access to our rooms until 1 p.m. When we got to our cabin, our luggage was already placed in the room. By 2 p.m. we had unpacked and stored all of our clothes and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. The sail away from Venice was everything you could've asked for. It was awesome sailing down the canal. The only downside was that we sailed away at 4:30 p.m. and sunset wasn't too far behind. It was tough getting good pictures. I was apprehensive about sailing on the Splendour after reading some awful reviews over the past few months. I can tell you from our experience this might've been the best of the four cruises we have taken. My DW thinks the Splendour cabins are bigger and better designed than the Voyager cruise we took last year. Even though the Splendour is 12+ years old, it is still in great shape. It is true the ship doesn't have all of the latest bells and whistles as some of the newer ships (like a newer TV in the cabins), but it is well worth the cruise. We utilized the Solarium a great deal and caught up on some reading and just watched the scenery. The Solarium is a great place to get a mid-day treat of fresh crepes. We ate in the Windjammer every meal we had on the ship. We are not "foodies" and like the selection of the different foods available at the buffet. As may have been mentioned on previous postings and reviews, I am just perplexed as to what a traveler's expectations might be for the food on board. Especially when you are feeding 1,800 customers three times day. I don't expect a gourmet meal. If that is what am expecting, then I would pay to go on a more upscale cruise line. The choices were plentiful and varied. My only criticism is that the Windjammer doesn't have that large of an eating area and it does make it tough to get a table at certain meals. The nightly shows we attended were most entertaining and got the audience involved in the shows. We really enjoyed the Argentine Gauchos and Jonathan Kane, the tribute performer to Elton John. The itinerary for the cruise was exceptional. We were impressed with every port. It was an interesting time being over in Europe during the U.S. Presidential election. The international perspective was enlightening. As a matter of fact, we were in Corfu the Thursday after the election and a Greek merchant proudly displayed his OBama campaign button. The day in Split was disappointing because of the cold rain the entire day. Other than that day, the weather the rest of the trip was exceptional with temps in the upper 60s or low 70s each day. I will say that we approach these trips as adventures and you must be flexible. A prime example is that were had prepared to take the train into Athens from the port. About 60 minutes before we docked, we were informed that the Public trains and busses in Athens were going on strike from Noon-4 p.m. We were docking at noon. We ended up taking a cab (and paying top dollar) to take us to the Acropolis area. We used the trains on the return trip because the strike had ended. I would rate this cruise as outstanding and would recommend this ship to anybody. Our trip was memorable.

Outstanding Splendour

Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by Nodakboiler

Trip Details
My DW and I cruised the Splendour Nov. 1. This was our 2nd RCL cruise of the Mediterranean; last year we did the Voyager from Barcelona. Our flights and connections were all seamless. We flew Air France from O'Hare to CDG to Venice; the return was on KLM from Venice to Amsterdam to O'Hare.
We stayed one night pre-cruise at the Courtyard by Marriott in Venice and one night post-cruise at the Hilton Stucky. Both hotels met our needs. The Hilton was exceptional. I would recommend it to anybody. The hotel offers a free shuttle to Zattere and San Marco on a regular basis. I know this hotel might be pricey, but were able to get a great rate 145 euros per night. It was more than worth it.
The embarkation was the best we had ever experienced. After taking a 20 minute shuttle from our hotel (Airport Courtyard by Marriott) we arrived at the cruise terminal at 11:20 a.m. and we were on board within 25 minutes. There were no lines at all. We weren't allowed access to our rooms until 1 p.m. When we got to our cabin, our luggage was already placed in the room. By 2 p.m. we had unpacked and stored all of our clothes and headed to the Windjammer for lunch.
The sail away from Venice was everything you could've asked for. It was awesome sailing down the canal. The only downside was that we sailed away at 4:30 p.m. and sunset wasn't too far behind. It was tough getting good pictures.
I was apprehensive about sailing on the Splendour after reading some awful reviews over the past few months. I can tell you from our experience this might've been the best of the four cruises we have taken. My DW thinks the Splendour cabins are bigger and better designed than the Voyager cruise we took last year. Even though the Splendour is 12+ years old, it is still in great shape. It is true the ship doesn't have all of the latest bells and whistles as some of the newer ships (like a newer TV in the cabins), but it is well worth the cruise. We utilized the Solarium a great deal and caught up on some reading and just watched the scenery. The Solarium is a great place to get a mid-day treat of fresh crepes.
We ate in the Windjammer every meal we had on the ship. We are not "foodies" and like the selection of the different foods available at the buffet. As may have been mentioned on previous postings and reviews, I am just perplexed as to what a traveler's expectations might be for the food on board. Especially when you are feeding 1,800 customers three times day. I don't expect a gourmet meal. If that is what am expecting, then I would pay to go on a more upscale cruise line. The choices were plentiful and varied. My only criticism is that the Windjammer doesn't have that large of an eating area and it does make it tough to get a table at certain meals.
The nightly shows we attended were most entertaining and got the audience involved in the shows. We really enjoyed the Argentine Gauchos and Jonathan Kane, the tribute performer to Elton John.
The itinerary for the cruise was exceptional. We were impressed with every port. It was an interesting time being over in Europe during the U.S. Presidential election. The international perspective was enlightening. As a matter of fact, we were in Corfu the Thursday after the election and a Greek merchant proudly displayed his OBama campaign button. The day in Split was disappointing because of the cold rain the entire day. Other than that day, the weather the rest of the trip was exceptional with temps in the upper 60s or low 70s each day.
I will say that we approach these trips as adventures and you must be flexible. A prime example is that were had prepared to take the train into Athens from the port. About 60 minutes before we docked, we were informed that the Public trains and busses in Athens were going on strike from Noon-4 p.m. We were docking at noon. We ended up taking a cab (and paying top dollar) to take us to the Acropolis area. We used the trains on the return trip because the strike had ended.
I would rate this cruise as outstanding and would recommend this ship to anybody. Our trip was memorable.
Nodakboiler’s Full Rating Summary
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