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Ships Review   Splendour of the Seas March 30th Sao Paulo Brazil to Lisbon   First I must say that I have never been on a cruise I did not enjoy notwithstanding any problems that might have occurred. Having said that of course I have enjoyed some cruises more than others.   This was my first time in Brazil and I decided to travel to Sao Paulo a couple of days prior to the cruise. My flight on Air Canada from Toronto was on time and without problems and there was no difficulty with picking up luggage in Sao Paulo or quickly finding a taxi to my hotel. I was staying at the Golden Tulip a short distance from Avenue Paulista one of the main shopping streets in Sao Paulo. The Hotel was fine though perhaps a little expensive compared to some others I investigated. A buffet breakfast was provided at no extra charge and that was perfectly ok.   I joined a group of 10 others on Monday morning who were also staying at the hotel and we took a coach/bus to Santos. This is not a short journey as the traffic is very heavy even at 11am and it was just over 2 hours before we got to the port. I have to say I never saw as many trucks making the trip down the side of the mountain to Santos as on this trip. A word of warning the entry to the port is awful. The roads are narrow and extremely bumpy as you wind through some very poor areas of the city and it does not give a good impression to visitors.   Upon arrival the luggage was taken from us quickly though there was some confusion, as it seems some passengers did not have the luggage labels. All of us in our party did. Anyway eventually we managed to convince the staff that we did not need new labels and the luggage was taken away. You have to stand in line to take a small and very crowded bus from the terminal to the embarkation lounge a distance of about 100 yards. Why you cant walk that distance I simply do not know and this would save both waiting in line and very cramped conditions on the bus.   Notwithstanding all of the above, it wasn't long before we were all on the ship and safely in our designated cabins.   This is an older ship but it is well maintained and in good condition. The only real concern I had with the ship was that when at sea and particularly when sitting on the bed there is a definite bumpiness rather like riding on an uneven road. This is something I have not experienced on any other RCL ship. It did not keep me awake but it was a strange sensation, and this was also noticeable when sitting in some of the lounges.   CABINS   Not much to say. Not particularly large but acceptable, the bedding was comfortable and there was ample storage and closet space. Be aware that most of the inside and ocean view cabins do not have a refrigerator something I missed on this cruise. It is also time that RCL updated the little 14 inch TV's on these older ships. The Cabin Steward was efficient and she seemed to have the knack of knowing exactly when I left and the cabin was clean upon my return. The bed was comfortable and the bedding of a good quality.   FOOD   There is only one word, which can describe the food. AWFUL.   This was a big disappointment. I am aware that opinion on food depends to a large extent on what you are used to eating. I admit I eat well normally but not on this cruise. There were only 2 types of fish on the menu, Tapalia and Salmon. The steaks were as tough as nails no matter how ordered and there was an obvious lack of quality control. As an example meat in the steak and mushroom pie, which was served in the buffet twice during the cruise had not been properly cooked and instead of the beef being tender it was like eating leather. Several times I ordered items which although shown on the menu were simply not available. The Orange Juice at breakfast time was in fact an orange drink not even the frozen dilute orange juice you usually get on board. Freshly squeezed was available at an exorbitant price. There is no alternate specialty restaurant on board so that was not an option. I would have paid extra to eat there had it been available. Incidentally my review of food was shared but everyone I spoke with on this cruise so it is not just one opinion. My concern here is whether this is an isolated incidence or something we can now look forward to on all RCL cruises as they cut costs. I sincerely hope not or I will not be cruising with them any more.   ENTERTAINMENT   Poor. Part of the problem here was that 85% of the passengers were Portuguese speaking, which meant that the bulk of entertainment was in Portuguese. In fairness given that this ship left Brazil and was going to Lisbon this was not surprising and it did not worry me too much. Just be aware that cruises out of South America tend to favor Portuguese or Spanish speaking passengers. The Staff were able to converse in English and I had no difficulty in communicating on the ship. Entertainment was mainly song and dance but seemed to be enjoyed by many on the ship.   DISEMBARKATION   I was in no hurry to leave the ship as I was staying in Portugal after the cruise. My designated departure time was 8.45am and I got off the ship at that time even though my color code had not been called as I had a ride waiting. Unfortunately while I was on the dock my luggage wasn't and it became a scene of utter confusion. The ship was late docking due to pontoons not being in place at Lisbon. I find it amazing that although they obviously expected the ship they had not put pontoons in place knowing that the ship could not dock directly against the dock. Eventually the luggage appeared but we could not pick it up until the police had inspected and sent their dogs among the luggage to check for drugs, etc.  I saw my luggage on a large trolly and watched as they unloaded it not using the handle but the pulley and breaking it in the process. The baggage handler merely slapped the pulley handle back into place even though it was obviously broken. I had no choice but to carry my luggage as I could no longer roll it on its wheels. It was a mess. I eventually left the dock area at about 9.45am.   The Cruise   I met some super people. I explored Brazil a little and crossed it off my "Bucket List" I relaxed and enjoyed reading, had lots of fun, saw Morocco (another destination on my list) and then spent 2 weeks with family on the Algarve.  I had a good time overall BUT if I likely wont cruise on this ship again and will need some convincing that the poor quality of food on this ship is not something we can look forward to on future cruises with RCL.        

Splendour of the Seas - Not so Splendid

Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by Mikey2611

Trip Details
Ships Review
 
Splendour of the Seas March 30th Sao Paulo Brazil to Lisbon
 
First I must say that I have never been on a cruise I did not enjoy notwithstanding any problems that might have occurred. Having said that of course I have enjoyed some cruises more than others.
 
This was my first time in Brazil and I decided to travel to Sao Paulo a couple of days prior to the cruise. My flight on Air Canada from Toronto was on time and without problems and there was no difficulty with picking up luggage in Sao Paulo or quickly finding a taxi to my hotel. I was staying at the Golden Tulip a short distance from Avenue Paulista one of the main shopping streets in Sao Paulo. The Hotel was fine though perhaps a little expensive compared to some others I investigated. A buffet breakfast was provided at no extra charge and that was perfectly ok.
 
I joined a group of 10 others on Monday morning who were also staying at the hotel and we took a coach/bus to Santos. This is not a short journey as the traffic is very heavy even at 11am and it was just over 2 hours before we got to the port. I have to say I never saw as many trucks making the trip down the side of the mountain to Santos as on this trip. A word of warning the entry to the port is awful. The roads are narrow and extremely bumpy as you wind through some very poor areas of the city and it does not give a good impression to visitors.
 
Upon arrival the luggage was taken from us quickly though there was some confusion, as it seems some passengers did not have the luggage labels. All of us in our party did. Anyway eventually we managed to convince the staff that we did not need new labels and the luggage was taken away. You have to stand in line to take a small and very crowded bus from the terminal to the embarkation lounge a distance of about 100 yards. Why you cant walk that distance I simply do not know and this would save both waiting in line and very cramped conditions on the bus.
 
Notwithstanding all of the above, it wasn't long before we were all on the ship and safely in our designated cabins.
 
This is an older ship but it is well maintained and in good condition. The only real concern I had with the ship was that when at sea and particularly when sitting on the bed there is a definite bumpiness rather like riding on an uneven road. This is something I have not experienced on any other RCL ship. It did not keep me awake but it was a strange sensation, and this was also noticeable when sitting in some of the lounges.
 
CABINS
 
Not much to say. Not particularly large but acceptable, the bedding was comfortable and there was ample storage and closet space. Be aware that most of the inside and ocean view cabins do not have a refrigerator something I missed on this cruise. It is also time that RCL updated the little 14 inch TV's on these older ships. The Cabin Steward was efficient and she seemed to have the knack of knowing exactly when I left and the cabin was clean upon my return. The bed was comfortable and the bedding of a good quality.
 
FOOD
 
There is only one word, which can describe the food. AWFUL.
 
This was a big disappointment. I am aware that opinion on food depends to a large extent on what you are used to eating. I admit I eat well normally but not on this cruise. There were only 2 types of fish on the menu, Tapalia and Salmon. The steaks were as tough as nails no matter how ordered and there was an obvious lack of quality control. As an example meat in the steak and mushroom pie, which was served in the buffet twice during the cruise had not been properly cooked and instead of the beef being tender it was like eating leather. Several times I ordered items which although shown on the menu were simply not available. The Orange Juice at breakfast time was in fact an orange drink not even the frozen dilute orange juice you usually get on board. Freshly squeezed was available at an exorbitant price. There is no alternate specialty restaurant on board so that was not an option. I would have paid extra to eat there had it been available. Incidentally my review of food was shared but everyone I spoke with on this cruise so it is not just one opinion. My concern here is whether this is an isolated incidence or something we can now look forward to on all RCL cruises as they cut costs. I sincerely hope not or I will not be cruising with them any more.
 
ENTERTAINMENT
 
Poor. Part of the problem here was that 85% of the passengers were Portuguese speaking, which meant that the bulk of entertainment was in Portuguese. In fairness given that this ship left Brazil and was going to Lisbon this was not surprising and it did not worry me too much. Just be aware that cruises out of South America tend to favor Portuguese or Spanish speaking passengers. The Staff were able to converse in English and I had no difficulty in communicating on the ship. Entertainment was mainly song and dance but seemed to be enjoyed by many on the ship.
 
DISEMBARKATION
 
I was in no hurry to leave the ship as I was staying in Portugal after the cruise. My designated departure time was 8.45am and I got off the ship at that time even though my color code had not been called as I had a ride waiting. Unfortunately while I was on the dock my luggage wasn't and it became a scene of utter confusion. The ship was late docking due to pontoons not being in place at Lisbon. I find it amazing that although they obviously expected the ship they had not put pontoons in place knowing that the ship could not dock directly against the dock. Eventually the luggage appeared but we could not pick it up until the police had inspected and sent their dogs among the luggage to check for drugs, etc.  I saw my luggage on a large trolly and watched as they unloaded it not using the handle but the pulley and breaking it in the process. The baggage handler merely slapped the pulley handle back into place even though it was obviously broken. I had no choice but to carry my luggage as I could no longer roll it on its wheels. It was a mess. I eventually left the dock area at about 9.45am.
 
The Cruise
 
I met some super people. I explored Brazil a little and crossed it off my "Bucket List" I relaxed and enjoyed reading, had lots of fun, saw Morocco (another destination on my list) and then spent 2 weeks with family on the Algarve.  I had a good time overall BUT if I likely wont cruise on this ship again and will need some convincing that the poor quality of food on this ship is not something we can look forward to on future cruises with RCL.
 
 
 
 
Mikey2611’s Full Rating Summary
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