Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by Julie Entwistle
- Sail Date: October 2009
- Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Activities - there just isn't enough going on during the day. The theatre showed a movie on the first day only and then nothing, it was closed during the day. A daily movie would certainly help pass the time. Bingo at 3.30 (minimum 22 dollar fee) was about all, except the Art auctions every day where you could watch everyone NOT buying any art.
Gymnasium - this is small and unless you go in the morning or afternoon you will not be able to use any of the equipment.
Eating - the Windjammer cafe was good with an excellent choice however be warned at breakfast it is jammed and we often had to take our food outside onto the pool area and eat in the chilly windy weather. We did discover however that you can have breakfast in the formal dining room (between 6.30 - 9.00 which was a little early for us) or you can have it delivered to your room free of charge after 7.00 am.
Lunch was not a problem and there was plenty of room during the long sitting. You can also go into the formal dining room for a "30 minutes express lunch sitting" or eat in the inside pool area (although this tended to be burgers, hot dogs and fries).
King and I dining room - we chose the second sitting (9.00 pm) and this is too late, particularly when you have been trying to fill your time during the day - also we missed a lot of the evening entertainment. The formal nights are not really formal, don't think you need a jacket, tie, dress etc. I wore trousers and a blouse, my hubby wore a shirt and trousers just as on the other nights. Food at night is fantastic and service is really good.
Cabins Don't use the water provided as they charge you $5 per bottle. At the pool area there is a machine providing ice water and coffee all day and night. Just get a glass of water to take to your room
Bars The Schooner Bar was were we spent most evenings as the other area Top Hat Lounge was permanently empty, just a few couples dancing. What a shame they could have made much more of this space - dancing classes or shows. We had the Cocktail of the Day at $6 but after a few days were getting suspicious that there wasn't actually any alcohol in these. I switched to a rum based cocktail and this confirmed my suspicions. The cocktails are in a large plastic tub in the kitchen which is ready made up, presumably with little or no alcohol. So if cocktails are your thing, go to the bar yourself and watch the waiter making one up for you - I can recommend the B52s !
Entertainment Again we were disappointed with this - 2 x "reps shows", a magician and a comedy singer. My husband enjoyed the Beatlemania show though.
All in all we felt the company were always trying to get more money out of you, even the daily talks about the ports of calls were laced with shopping tips where you could spend your money or organised excursions which cost a fortune. We always did our own thing and there was little information about this.
Ship itself felt just the right size for us, the cabins were spacious and there were plenty of opportunities for eating and drinking. I don't think we would use Royal Carribean again, but we will try cruising again but in a warmer part of the year.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Athens (Piraeus)4th day Athens - this was whatI had been looking forward to and it met expectations. We again did our own thing (which they don't really give you much info on) and walked to the train station and for 1 euro bought a ticket to the Acropolis stop (tip when buying your ticket from the machines you need to select the ticket type first then put your money in - we tried about 5 machines til we figures this out. We only had 6 hours in Athens and this was just about right.View All 1,261 Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Reviews
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Katakolon (Olympia)6th day Katakolon - this again is a pretty little harbour you can wonder around the shops and unlike Mykonos there are prices displayed which were really reasonable (1 euro for an ouzo). You can take the local train which comes directly from the port to Olympia - again they don't tell you about this on the ship.View All 560 Katakolon (Olympia) Cruise Port Reviews
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Mykonos5th day Mikonos - this is a pretty harbour but what a rip off. Be warned if you sit down at any of the harbour cafes you will be ripped off. No price lists anywhere and we paid 14 euros for 2 small beers.View All 1,082 Mykonos Cruise Port Reviews
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VeniceSailing away from Venice was magical and lived up to our expectations. We stayed overnight in Venice and made our own way to the ship. A free shuttle bus leaves from the main bus terminus (Piazzale Romana). Getting on the ship was hassle free and easy.View All 1,462 Venice Cruise Port Reviews
On disembarkation - you are given a coloured tag on your last day with your time for disembarkation which you need to put on your luggage and put your luggage out the night before. You can change your tags for another time which we did. We waited after breakfast in our alloted area (theatre or top hat lounge) they call your colour and you get off, go into the terminal and collect your luggage. Then there are taxis to take you to wherever, or the shuttle bus to take you to the bus station. We decided to walk to the bus station as the line was long, it took about 8 minutes, we bought a ticket to Marco Polo for 2.5 euros each and in 20 minutes we were there.
WARNING - when collecting your bag do check the label (you have space to fill in your name and address and phone on the coloured labels) as we picked up someone else's bag which was the same as ours and didn't realise til we got to the airport!
If you have a late flight you can stay on the ship for the day but you have to pay $34 each, which includes lunch.
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