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I have just returned from my 6th Cruise and 2nd with RCI. I chose this cruise mainly for the Price and Destination offered and all in all was very good value for money. Splendour is nearly 20 years old and on its last season before transferring to Thomson (where it will greatly improve their fleet). Some people mentioned it was tired looking but i didn't think this was the case. The Staff in general were extremely helpful,fun and hard working. Our BA Flight arrived in Dubai before 0800 so we were met on arrival and transferred to the Le Meridian Hotel over the road from the airport for breakfast and to complete the check in procedure which took about ten minutes. We were then transferred to Port Rashid and was onboard by 11am and our stateroom was ready about 1pm. We had full use of the ships facilities as soon as we got on board. Our Cabin 3031 was a Category N Inside Stateroom and had sufficient wardrobe and storage space and 2 very comfy beds. We ate most nights in the King and I restaurant, on my time dining, which i pre booked in advance before leaving the Uk and had a table for 2 every night with no problem. The Formal nights aren't anything to get hung up about, we were planning on going to the Windjammer on the Formal nights as packed a jacket but no tie or tux but the waiter said it is no problem, so we went to Formal night in trousers jacket and shirt. We used the windjammer for lunch and breakfast, at times it was chaotic as so many people were eating here and you would get your food(which there was a great choice) then struggle to find a table to sit at. The entertainment was ok, not really my thing and as we ate late the only show we went to watch was the Beatles tribute band, who were brilliant,then up to the Disco in the Crown Viking Lounge. The night we departed Muscat there was a Middle East deck party which was ok,there was a belly dancer and after 3 middle eastern songs it kicked into full Ricky Martin and US/UK artists songs but everyone had a good time. The Drinks package i pre purchased in uk at approx £28 a day for the Select Package,this entitled us to Beer,Wine by the Glass and Soft drinks and non alcoholic cocktails....my only frustration with this is no one actually explained which beers were included so each time to make sure i didnt get charged i asked is this included in the package. The cheapest Wine was approx $9 per glass and Beer about $6 per drink which you would have to pay an 18% gratuity charge on top so i think i got my moneys worth just....if you have the drink package you also have to pre pay your gratuities for the cruise which i did as i cant be doing with tipping. The Excursions offered by RCI were not cheap either.... KHASAB-We decided to do the Dhow Cruise,RCI wanted £47 pp for a half day tour, i booked it in advance locally for 25 Euros and our boat had shade and 14 people on board(all from our ship and included fruit,water,tea,coffee) the boats used by RCI had over 100 people on and had no shade upstairs. I know we had the best deal MUSCAT-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port but a 2 hour(if you don't get off) bus tour at over £40 wasn't great value in my opinion. Muscat itself is only about a 20 min walk from the Port to the Souk anyway. ABU DHABI-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port and after doing part of the Red route(where the headphone jacks didn't work) we jumped on the Purple bus to visit Yas Island(with a tour guide no headphones), after 5 hours in total when we got back to the red route we took the shuttle bus back to the Port, but this was great value for money and well worth it, as so much to see in Abu Dhabi DUBAI-We decided we wanted to visit Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world so pre booked before leaving the Uk for about £25 ourselves. We got a taxi from the Port which was approx 60 AED (you have to pay a 20AED surcharge leaving the Port which is included in the fare) and to get back to the Port we only paid 30 AED. It was well worth the trip to the 124th floor and the amazing views,entrance is via the Dubai Mall which is massive! I have a few gripes with Royal Caribbean, they are very sell sell sell....trying to sell you upgraded drinks packages,trying to sell their Asian and Steak restaurants at a huge supplement,trying to sell you a tour of the ship to the galley,the bridge etc,always pushing the Spa,the Large Screen showing activities from the Cruise Director was always a sales pitch and was repeated about 5 times on the bounce before they would switch it off, the annoying jazzy,piano,light drum music that had no lyrics played around the pool that no one has ever heard of and the very expensive wifi rates. Lots of people use wifi now and i'm sure if they dropped their prices a little they would sell more. After 4 days of no contact from the outside world we decided to go for it....$20 per day for 1 device and 50% off for a 2nd Device...so $30 per day (the small print says once taken it has t be for the duration of the cruise...so couldn't use it just for 1 day) and i only really wanted it to be able to do my online check in for my return flight the day before flying home. Oh and No bottled water...unless you paid for it or upgraded your drinks package! Disembarkation was painless, we were told to meet in the showlounge at 6am (Breakfast was available before) and were called by Number and taken to the Terminal where our bags were waiting for us, we were then transferred to Dubai airport with no problems. The Food was good,not spectacular but nice all the same and the King and I Restaurant was good for a 3 course evening meal. Windjammer buffet had plenty of choices but limited seating at times and there was also a burger/hot dog eatery and snacks in the Solarium area. All in all i was very pleased with this cruise, to get flights,transfers,meals and a cruise for a week for £600 with gratuities was brilliant, a 5 night holiday in Dubai with no food would cost you more and you also get to see so many interesting places. The highlight for me was Khasab seeing the Omani Fjords and the dolphins swimming alongside our Dhow and Abu Dhabi, every building is bigger or more ecentric than the last...oh and the fantastic weather which was 80-85 degrees every day. The ship was very good, a smaller ship compared to most now at 70,000 Tonnes but was full of hardworking and joyful staff. I would definitely use RCI again

Good Value for Money and Interesting Destinations

Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by andyp102

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2016
  • Destination: Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom
I have just returned from my 6th Cruise and 2nd with RCI. I chose this cruise mainly for the Price and Destination offered and all in all was very good value for money.

Splendour is nearly 20 years old and on its last season before transferring to Thomson (where it will greatly improve their fleet). Some people mentioned it was tired looking but i didn't think this was the case.

The Staff in general were extremely helpful,fun and hard working.

Our BA Flight arrived in Dubai before 0800 so we were met on arrival and transferred to the Le Meridian Hotel over the road from the airport for breakfast and to complete the check in procedure which took about ten minutes.

We were then transferred to Port Rashid and was onboard by 11am and our stateroom was ready about 1pm. We had full use of the ships facilities as soon as we got on board.

Our Cabin 3031 was a Category N Inside Stateroom and had sufficient wardrobe and storage space and 2 very comfy beds.

We ate most nights in the King and I restaurant, on my time dining, which i pre booked in advance before leaving the Uk and had a table for 2 every night with no problem.

The Formal nights aren't anything to get hung up about, we were planning on going to the Windjammer on the Formal nights as packed a jacket but no tie or tux but the waiter said it is no problem, so we went to Formal night in trousers jacket and shirt.

We used the windjammer for lunch and breakfast, at times it was chaotic as so many people were eating here and you would get your food(which there was a great choice) then struggle to find a table to sit at.

The entertainment was ok, not really my thing and as we ate late the only show we went to watch was the Beatles tribute band, who were brilliant,then up to the Disco in the Crown Viking Lounge.

The night we departed Muscat there was a Middle East deck party which was ok,there was a belly dancer and after 3 middle eastern songs it kicked into full Ricky Martin and US/UK artists songs but everyone had a good time.

The Drinks package i pre purchased in uk at approx £28 a day for the Select Package,this entitled us to Beer,Wine by the Glass and Soft drinks and non alcoholic cocktails....my only frustration with this is no one actually explained which beers were included so each time to make sure i didnt get charged i asked is this included in the package.

The cheapest Wine was approx $9 per glass and Beer about $6 per drink which you would have to pay an 18% gratuity charge on top so i think i got my moneys worth just....if you have the drink package you also have to pre pay your gratuities for the cruise which i did as i cant be doing with tipping.

The Excursions offered by RCI were not cheap either....

KHASAB-We decided to do the Dhow Cruise,RCI wanted £47 pp for a half day tour, i booked it in advance locally for 25 Euros and our boat had shade and 14 people on board(all from our ship and included fruit,water,tea,coffee) the boats used by RCI had over 100 people on and had no shade upstairs. I know we had the best deal

MUSCAT-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port but a 2 hour(if you don't get off) bus tour at over £40 wasn't great value in my opinion. Muscat itself is only about a 20 min walk from the Port to the Souk anyway.

ABU DHABI-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port and after doing part of the Red route(where the headphone jacks didn't work) we jumped on the Purple bus to visit Yas Island(with a tour guide no headphones), after 5 hours in total when we got back to the red route we took the shuttle bus back to the Port, but this was great value for money and well worth it, as so much to see in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI-We decided we wanted to visit Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world so pre booked before leaving the Uk for about £25 ourselves.

We got a taxi from the Port which was approx 60 AED (you have to pay a 20AED surcharge leaving the Port which is included in the fare) and to get back to the Port we only paid 30 AED. It was well worth the trip to the 124th floor and the amazing views,entrance is via the Dubai Mall which is massive!

I have a few gripes with Royal Caribbean, they are very sell sell sell....trying to sell you upgraded drinks packages,trying to sell their Asian and Steak restaurants at a huge supplement,trying to sell you a tour of the ship to the galley,the bridge etc,always pushing the Spa,the Large Screen showing activities from the Cruise Director was always a sales pitch and was repeated about 5 times on the bounce before they would switch it off, the annoying jazzy,piano,light drum music that had no lyrics played around the pool that no one has ever heard of and the very expensive wifi rates.

Lots of people use wifi now and i'm sure if they dropped their prices a little they would sell more. After 4 days of no contact from the outside world we decided to go for it....$20 per day for 1 device and 50% off for a 2nd Device...so $30 per day (the small print says once taken it has t be for the duration of the cruise...so couldn't use it just for 1 day) and i only really wanted it to be able to do my online check in for my return flight the day before flying home.

Oh and No bottled water...unless you paid for it or upgraded your drinks package!

Disembarkation was painless, we were told to meet in the showlounge at 6am (Breakfast was available before) and were called by Number and taken to the Terminal where our bags were waiting for us, we were then transferred to Dubai airport with no problems.

The Food was good,not spectacular but nice all the same and the King and I Restaurant was good for a 3 course evening meal.

Windjammer buffet had plenty of choices but limited seating at times and there was also a burger/hot dog eatery and snacks in the Solarium area.

All in all i was very pleased with this cruise, to get flights,transfers,meals and a cruise for a week for £600 with gratuities was brilliant, a 5 night holiday in Dubai with no food would cost you more and you also get to see so many interesting places.

The highlight for me was Khasab seeing the Omani Fjords and the dolphins swimming alongside our Dhow and Abu Dhabi, every building is bigger or more ecentric than the last...oh and the fantastic weather which was 80-85 degrees every day.

The ship was very good, a smaller ship compared to most now at 70,000 Tonnes but was full of hardworking and joyful staff.

I would definitely use RCI again
andyp102’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin N 3031
Clean,good cupboard and storage space,not enough coat hangars though,no i pad as advised in brochure to use to check accounts,clean compact bathroom and very comfy beds.
Speaker never worked in cabin so never heard one general announcement (good or bad i dont know!!) Sockets for 2 US and 2 European adaptors
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews