We'd had a fab cruise on Eastern Med with Celebrity Silhouette in 2014 so jumped at the opportunity of repeating some of those fab ports with Royal Caribbean's Splendour in late Nov 2015, before it sailed off to Dubai for winter. We got a great cruise-only deal and arranged our own flights and transfers which ran smoothly.
Maritima cruise port was a little unorganised compared to our last visit but it didn't take too long to get onboard and our cabin was ready - so we dropped off our carry-on and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. We knew not to expect Silhouette's modern elegance or facilities, as Splendour is over 20 years old and smaller, and were pleased with the 2011 refurb of public areas. Our cabin however, looked dated and tired (though clean and spacious - being a large ocenview aft deck 3), as if the refurb didn't include them.
Also, Royal Caribbean's website was not accurate with cabin photos or details as cabins did not have iPads and interactive services. For any queries one had to phone Guest Relations or queue in person which was disappointing as queues were always long -obv as you couldn't even check your account using the TV in your cabin.
Our departure got delayed by storm winds & rain, making us miss the beautiful sail away through Venice. Captain made a few announcements on the first evening and finally told us that our delayed departure meant we would need to skip our first port, Dubrovnik, altogether. Much grumbling about that onboard, and we also were very disappointed since we had booked this holiday to visit Dubrovnik and Kusadasi again. Most nights' sailings were a little rocky but leaving Turkey the Captain gave us a warning of storm winds ahead - and we had the worst night onboard ever. Doors outside were closed, water was pouring into the Solarium, and the ship shuddered and jolted on its journey to Split. Very little sleep was had and in the morning Captain made an announcement to say we'd actually had some Hurricane level winds overnight. Although winds eased, we then weren't able to dock at Split until late afternoon - resulting a shortened stay, delayed departure and a late arrival back in Venice.
Entertainment I have rated average or poor, as it wasn't to our taste really. We are a couple in our late 30s and the musical theatre productions were probably more aimed at folk 20-30yr older than us, with more US slant to it too. Craft sessions in the Schooner Bar? Not for us. Took part in some of the pub quizzes and went to see evening Game Shows in one of the other venues (Mr&Mrs, Who wants to be a Millionaire etc) and I did participate in a zumba session in the Centrum on one of the sea days. The activities team members were all loud and fun, but the cruise director was terribly wooden and totally unfunny..and cliched.
High of the trip: Staff. Especially serving staff in the MDR and head waiter & kitchen who made sure my hubby's diet was well catered for during the week. Food was great in the MDR and in the Windjammer, not to Celebrity standard but good. We didn't use any of the specialty restaurants so can't rate them. Service in bars was good and prompt too, we upgraded to Select package and found it had a wide enough range of wines to enjoy. Good mix of ages and nationalities, incl. good number of other travellers 20s-50s to keep the club busy on most nights too.
As I mentioned, the weather was against us most of the week and it resulted in us arriving in Venice late on our final morning. Thankfully our flight wasn't on too early and we disembarked only about 45mins later than scheduled. Plenty of taxis were outside the terminal so we were able to use our Radiotaxivenezia AP pre-pay transfer voucher and arrived there before the masses (on RC shuttle buses).
Pleasant ship, small but with great staff, good food but dated cabins (mis-sold on RC website). Great itinerary too, shame we missed 1,5 ports :(
Spacious enough for two adult, with double bed, enough space to walk around it. Sitting area with sofa and a table. Desk/vanity with good storage space and hairdryer. Free to use safe. Rear AFT cabin with loads of engine noise and noise at docking (door/gangway nearby).
No excursion but our transport ran smoothly
Great port, beautiful. But missed out due to weather. We were going to do our own thing.
Lovely. Again no excursions booked
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