Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by BobnJac
- Sail Date: December 2015
- Destination: Middle East
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Check in was shambolic to say the least, evidently this was due in part to the Emirate ways rather than the usually efficient RC way.
Access to staterooms was swift, partly due to the ship overnighting in Port Rashid Dubai.
The DL somehow received a community spirit bypass it seems, lack of ambiance and atmosphere, unusual from past experience. More morgue than lounge.
Went to the MTD station at 13.00 to request a table for two at around 7.30 was informed we would be placed on a list, but told not to hope for a slot as we were fourth on list for such a request.
One of our 2 suitcases failed to reach the cabin before we went to the lounge so had to go in shorts.
Asked the Diamond concierge if she could reinforce our dining request and perhaps chase it up as eating at 20.30 our designated time, was out of the question. Thats your time dining not My Time.
We were told that due to demand this could not be achieved that evening, but the Hotel Director, Peter Dimitrov came and spoke with us and arranged via the Food and Beverage officer John Hazzard to seat us at our requested time in Chops Restaurant. For which we were extremely grateful.
Although we felt totally underdressed we were escorted by Fransisco ,The Dining room Manager, to chops and enjoyed the meal.
We didn't feel out of place once seated as the restaurant was devoid of customers anyway. We were informed that the usual concession reduction for Diamond Plus members was not in force on this sailing, maybe this was the cause for lack of patronage.
The atmosphere throughout the sailing after christmas eve was definitely not festive.
Well not according to British traditions anyway.
The crew and passengers carol singing in the centrum on christmas eve was well supported and enjoyed by all.
Unfortunately that atmosphere did not go beyond christmas eve. In fact it all went pretty much downhill from that point.
The major disappointment expressed by the uk guests was a lack of a traditional christmas dinner.
My idea of a traditional christmas dinner would be, Roast Turkey, with roast potatoes and vegetables accompanied Brussel sprouts and some form of forcemeat or bread based herb stuffing followed by christmas pudding and cream.
The dining room menu for christmas eve displayed the above selection which we thought unusual, but Christmas day it was changed.
Possibly by the chef, who I think was American.
Obviously the American christmas dinner is a totally different concept to an English one. Turkey day in the States being one month prior.
Fortunately my wife and I attended the Galley tour and Brunch at 11.30 which was a tremendous value for money experience. The choice of food and presentation was excellent, and we supposed that this extravaganza would be emulated during the formal evening.
At dinner, We had the lobster bisque soup to be followed what we assumed would be the turkey christmas dinner. Not so.
In fact we left after the soup and made our way to the windjammer which we learned was offering a proper christmas dinner.
The entertainment on board was pretty slack, one night for a Beatle tribute band and mediocre entertainment all round. The Top Hat club offering Bingo and Who wants to be a millionaire the theatre with the same old Love and Marriage game perhaps they could consider resurrecting Take the Money or The generation game. The same old questions and the same carefully rehearsed answers, all for a bottle of Champagne.
Arial displays in the centrum and the obligatory 70 s night with the same old lame YMCA gang strutting their stuff.
We were fortunate enough to have spent 6 nights prior to the cruise itself in a resort on the Palm in Dubai and knowing what I know now would rather had spent another 7 days at that resort, than have endured that dour cruise. Very disappointing all round.
There were a number of guests doing a back2back and were saying that for the two weeks, taking in Christmas and New year the price was outrageous to say the least.
Having completed the survey via email received today, I'm afraid that the ambiguous questions don't really reflect on the cruise just undertaken.
7 nights cruising the Gulf of Oman will definitely not be on my list of things to do next year.
Maybe its time to start looking further afield, to step up to Celebrity or maybe to take advantage of some of the other highly recommended cruise lines such as Princess or MSC.
We have been loyal to royal but this experience overall has not been up to the usual high standards.
This is no reflection on the staff or crew who carried out their duties well but as a general concern for maybe a mistake being made by RCL to stay out of the Gulf and concentrate on the Caribbean and the cash cow Asian markets. This ship is leaving RCL and evidently going to TUI Thompsons. It might be suitable for the shorter runs and the Butlins mob.
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