Just back from a 6 night cruise on Royal Caribbeans Splendour of the Seas. We are seasoned travelers; but this is the first cruise we have been on.
One word disappointed.
The ship is tired and in need of refurbishment and I now see it has been sold to the TUI group.
Royal Caribbean are only interested in UP SELLING.
As soon as we got on board they were trying to sell drinks packages. We had one included which was for beer wine and soft drinks, but surprisingly didn't include bottled water which they were charging $5 (approx £3.50) for a 50cl bottle, which in the centre of Athens and Venice where you would expect prices to be high I paid no more than 1 euro for (less than £1). The ship actually had people selling water to at the exits of the ship as people left to go ashore.
Also be careful of the excursions packages. Extortionate prices and the excursions team will not discuss any other options with you. We paid $400 dollars for 4 of us to do a 4 hour trip around Athens being told that due to the financial situation in Greece it was unsafe and not to trust the taxi drivers. The tour guide that met us off the ship told us Athens was perfectly safe and a taxi back to the port would only cost 12 euros. There was also a city open air hop on hop off tour bus which you could get from the port for 20 euros a head. Tickets to the Acropolis were only 12 euros.
It was a similar situation in the other places we docked at.
My advice is to do your home work before you travel and avoid booking excursions on the ship unless you really need to.
Entertainment was a let down. I was expecting shows such as Mama Mia and Chicago. No nothing like. I have actually checked the brochure since we got back to make sure I wasn't mistaken. I wasn't Royal Caribbean have a page highlighting these very West End Shows.
On a good point the self service and the fine dining restaurants were very good and the service was excellent.
We were told that once we had been on a cruise we wouldn't want to holiday any other way. Not sure about that. I would consider a cruise again but Royal Caribbean wouldn't be my first choice.
Cabin very much as we expected small but clean. Struggled to get a good shower because of the size of the cubical.
Kotor is within walking distance of the port and there really is no need to book an excursion. If you are feeling energetic you can climb up the steps to the fort overlooking the harbour. Fantastic views but the climb can be hard going. The church half way up is worth a visit.
I say the excursion was poor. It did what it said and the tour guide was very knowledgeable, but it wasn't worth the $100 each we paid for it especially when the official hop on hop off open tour bus would have cost us only 20 euros and the entrance to the Acropolis was only 12 euros. The advice from Royal Caribbean was not to do it independently; which we took. In hind sight I would have been far better getting either a taxi or the hop on hop off bus.View All 390 Acropolis Reviews
Again over priced excursions being sold by Royal Caribbean. Once off the ship there are taxi tours being offered at 50 euros. Our driver took us all around the coast and up the mountain overlooking the old town. Fantastic views. He gave us plenty of information about the region. The old town is packed with tourists. We looked at doing the cable car but opted for the taxi ride in stead. A good decision as we were later told that the ques for the cable car were terrible.
Despite the heat and the crowds Dubrovnik is well worth a visit.
We stayed in Venice for 2 nights post cruise. Very hot and crowded. We bought a 48 hour travel card from tourist information for 30 euros giving us unlimited travel on buses trains and the water buses. Good value for money. It allowed us to go across to some of the Venetian islands and the Lido which are less crowded and well worth visiting.
Watch out for pick pockets in the crowded areas.