Venice-Lisbon: Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by froggy500

Splendour of the Seas 4
Member Since 2009
22 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: November 2009
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
We booked a 10 day cruise from Venice to Lisbon. The price was excellent - $349pp. The ports were a little bit unusual - we've done alot of cruising and wanted to do something different. The ship and the cruise itself was, unfortunately, somewhat spotty.

I like the ship. This is an older ship - it is not too large. The cabins (we had an inside cabin) seem to be larger than those on the newer ship. That was very nice.

Boarding the ship in Venice was a real problem. We took a private boat to the boarding area because we had alot of luggage, and my wife used a handicapped scooter to get around. The boat dropped us off near the train terminal. We had to walk from the drop-off point to where a shuttle bus would take us to the boat. As we walked we passed panhandlers akin to those on the 59th street bridge in manhattan. One of them grabbed a bag from me, walked it to the top of the ramp, and then wanted money for walking the bag ten feet. When we got to the More bus waiting area there was a line. Unfortunately, when the bus pulled in everyone attacked the bus from all sides, threw whatever luggage they could into the bus and just climbed aboard. There were no Royal Caribbean personnel at the shuttle bus boarding area to maintain order. When we got to the drop off point (by the ship), they got all the luggage off and my wife's scooter. But then when the bus pulled out, it struck her and just pulled off. When I tried to report the matter to ship's personnel (numerous times), I was told that there was no safety/security officer. When we got home I tried to report the matter via internet, but have still not heard from anyone.

Despite the problems getting on, the cruise turned out to be very enjoyable. The ports were all secondary ports, but that was what we wanted. One problem I didn't expect was that many of the ports required you to take a shuttle bus, and these busses were NOT complementary - you had to pay for several of them. I felt like I was being nickle and dimed, but it turned out it was only another 40USD for the both of us, and the cruise itself was very inexpensive.

Royal Caribbean of late has been getting a spotty in the food and entertainment areas. We've been on recent cruises where it was very good, and others where it was poor. This one was mediocre. The meats were very good and well prepared. Soups and pastries left alot to be desired. Why is it that whenever they serve "Lobster Bisque" on these cruises it is some concoction which you've never seen before? The choices for dining was either at the Windjammer, or the dining room. This particular ship did not have extra dining facilities. The windjammer was not capable of accommodating all of the guests, and there was usually some kind of a problem getting seats in there for breakfast. There were two seatings for dinner - early and late. The late seating (which we had) was at 8:30. If you were in the late seating, you went to the late show, which usually started at 10:45. This meant you didn't get to bed until close to 12:00PM each night. Normally you go to an early show if you are in the late seating, and late seating is usually not quite this late. Royal Caribbean has apparently switched to "Seattle's Best" for the coffee, and everyone was complaining that the coffee on the ship was terrible - it tasted burnt.

Breakfast was standard fare. When I tried to get them to make a cheese omelette at the buffet (there was an omelette station), I could never get them to melt the cheese. At lunch they had a salad bar, but there was usually something missing - on most days there was no blue cheese dressing. The pastries were unremarkable. The head chef was Indian, and there was a nice selection of Indian cuisine during the cruise.

Entertainment was very spotty. I remember when cruises used to have name entertainment - no more. There were two of the now mandatory "review" shows. This is the kind of show you get at theme parks like Disney. I am not impressed with these. The other nights there were regular performers. Most of these were pretty bad, but a couple of these were very good. There were a couple of acrobat? acts that looked like rejects from the Ed Sullivan show. But there was a singing group doing a tribute to Il Divo that was EXCELLENT. I think this was the first time they were on the cruise, and the activities director hadn't seen them before and was pleasantly surprised. Less

Published 12/15/09

Cabin review: L6111 Large Interior Stateroom

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Port and Shore Excursions

Corfu is a nice town. We walked through the city, and then took a bus back. The area around where the busses drop you off and pick you up is very touristy - alot of little shops selling whatever the tourist market will bear. But if you walk to the other side of town, you end up where the locals go and there are lots of stores and restaurants. I actually enjoyed Corfu very much.
Read 500 Corfu Reviews

There is a fairly small area which is the old city which you walk around. You need to take a shuttle bus from the boat to the city - you cannot walk this. With everything, you probably cannot spend more than 3-4 hours here.

That being said, it was very nice to walk through.

There is really nothing at this stop. Cagliari is the capital and it's a sizeable town, but there's not much there which would interest a tourist. This is maybe a two hour stop.
Read 189 Sardinia Reviews

I love Venice. On this trip the weather was cold and grey, but that's OK. This is the first time we went there with the scooter. Venice is not a handicapped-friendly city. In fact, there are only about 4 bridges - all on the grand canal near San Marco plaza, which are handicapped accessible. On some of the small bridges, my wife got off the scooter, walked (very slowly) over the bridge. Then I broke the scooter down and carried it across the bridge in pieces and reassembled it on the other side.

The market by the Rialto is worth a look, but it closes early. It is sort of like a flea market, and everything is sold in this area. We had a vaporetto pass and used that to get from one side of the canal to the other. (There was no way we could get over the Rialto bridge with the scooter.)

Everything has gotten VERY expensive. It is very easy to spend 150USD per person for a sit-down meal. There are less expensive places to eat, but plan on even those costing 40-50USD for a simple pasta dish.

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