Have just returned from an amazing three week holiday in Europe, which ended with a seven night Med Cruise.
My husband and I and our four children departed from South Africa on 27 June on KLM Airways. the flight went smoothly and we landed in Amsterdam the following morning, on time. Everything went smoothly, until in came to collecting our luggage and we discovered that my younged son's bag had not arrived with us. This obviously involved going to make a report and give details so that we could be contacted when it was located.
Once this was done we walked out into the pickup area to try and find our prebooked and prepaid mini bus pickup. This involved a bit of wandering around, but he could not be found. Eventually I stopped to ask another taxi driver if I was perhaps in the wrong area. He asked our surname and after repeating it a couple of times, he managed to pronounce it correctly and low and behold the gentleman standing next to him leans over and tells us that he had come to collect us, but as we took too long to come out, he was now waiting for someone else. He turned his nameboard around and there, sure as nuts, was our surname. My idea of arranging a pickup from the airport obviously wasn't a very good one, as we had now wasted 80 euros. What a great start!
We set off to find another mini bus and this turned out to be very simple indeed and cost us 60 euros, so I certainly wouldn't bother with prebooking transport again, as one never knows what sort of delays they may encounter.
The taxi took us to our accomodation, which was an self catering apartment above the Bulldog Coffee Shop in Leidsesquare. I was delighted that we were above a Coffee Shop, as I thought it would be perfect for popping downstairs for breakfasts in the morning. I googled the Coffee Shop from home before we left home, to see what sort of meals they served and much to my dismay it was a very different Coffee Shop to the one's I am accustomed to at home. I was a bit concerned about the location of our accomodation, but it turned out to be absolutely fine with the entrance being a separate door on the rights hand side of the coffee shop. The apartment was great, apart from the fact that we had to drag our luggage up two flights of stairs before reaching the lift. This resulted in the pull along handle on my other son's suitcase, being ripped right out. Great!
The apartment consisted of 2 bedrooms, bathroom, separate toilet, a tiny loft room that didn't really have any furniture it in, but the kids managed to turn in into their computer room. There was also a lovely fitted kitchen, dining are and of course the lounge which housed the sleeper couch. The lounge and dining area had lovely big windows which opened up onto the square, which was great and very entertaining. The one thing the apartemnt lacked, was an airconditioner, which would have gone down really well. All four of our children landed up sleeping in the lounge as there was a celing fan and of course the large window that could be left open.
There were loads of restaurants off the square and a Burger King about 30 steps away from the door of the apartment. We spent a fabulous 3 nights in Amsterdam, did the Hop on Hop off Bus tours, visited Ann Frank's Apartment, went on an evening canal cruise and also managed to visit the Ice Bar. We hadn't really planned on doing this, as we had read such bad reviews but we were in the area, so decided to just pop in. What fun! We bought ourselves some lovely Heineken polar hats were given great big polar coats to wear and off we went for our Polar Experience. We so enjoyed it and the kids had a ball too. Am so pleased that we went in!
On our forth morning, we were collected on time, by the same taxi that had brought us from the airport. We were taken back to Schipol Aiport, where took our flight on Air France, to Paris. Whilst at the airport, we checked on my son's bag, but it had still not arrived.
We landed at CDG in Paris and collected by Prestige Pickups. I had pre arranged this, but advance payment was not requested. We were transported to Eurodisney, where we were to spend the next 3 nights at the Hotel Cheyenne. My initial impression of the hotel when we walked into reception area was CHAOTIC, with kids screaming and running around. The Western themed accomodation is very spaced out and you don't really encounter any other guests until you get to breakfast in the morning and all hell breaks loose. More kids sreaming and running around and their parents shoving past you with plates piled high with croissants, ham and cheese all ready to go and prepare the snacks for the day. There is a sign in the dining room telling people not take food from the diningroom, but this made no difference at all and people were openly filling carry bags with rolls, croissants and even filling empty bottles with juice for the day.
After 3 hectic days in Eurodisney we were collected on time by Prestige again and taken into Paris we we were booked into the Londres et New York Hotel. We were greeted by a lovely friendly receptionist and were given the keys for our two rooms. There was a lift was a relief. Our rooms were lovely, beautifully decorated, really nice bathrooms and windows which looked out onto the street below. We had a tiny balcony which we were able to squeeze onto, which was rather nice.
We were joined the following morning by my mother and my husbands parents, as they were to spend the balance of the trip with us. We were also joined by my son's suitcase, which had arrived in Amsterdam, as we left and had had to wait for the next flight to Paris!
Another two nights were spent in Paris, doing the Hop on Bus tours, dinner in Eiffel Tower, visiting the Louvre, dinner cruise on the River Seinne(Awesome) and loads of walking.
We were collected by Prestige once again and were taken to the train station where we were to catch the TGV to Marseille. The station was chaotic and after much asking around we found out where we sere supposed to be. There we waited, until the gates were opened and then, the stampede. People were shoving and pushing and ramming trolleys of luggage into our ankles. Getting to our carriage was a bit hair raising, in fact I don't even know how we managed to find it. We had hardly got on and managed to cram our load of luggage into the small luggage areas, and suddenly we were whizzing off. It was such a relief to be safely in our seats after all that tearing along the platforms, trying to keep our party of nine all together.
After setting off, we throughly enjoyed our train ride and the lovely scenery that flew past the windows. We were able to buy lunch on the train, which I wouldn't recommend, as we had to go upstairs and walk through a couple of coaches before we found the queue waitng to be served. There was only one lady behind the counter and she was making taking orders, heating up food, making coffees and ringing everything up as well. The menu is only in French, so we didn't really know what we were ordering. We resorted to pointing at pictures and using sign language. the food was expensive and wasn't great. We had a coulpe of dried out sandwiches, wraps etc. I should've arranged some food to take on with us. The tain journey took three and a half hours, but it seemed to go so quickly and it really was rather nice to sit still for a while after our 10 days of rushing about. Whilst on our way, we called our hotel to ask them to arrange a taxi pickup from the station in Marseille.
We arrived safely in Marseille and after lugging our suitcases off the train and through the station, we managed to find our taxis, who had just arrived. we were split up into three different cars and were whisked away. We all seemed to go in different dirrections and after tearing down side roads and much ranting and raving and waving his arms around, our taxi driver delivered my mother, older son and me to our hotel, a good eight minutes after the rest of the party had arrived. My husband handed me 26 euros, as this what his taxi driver had charged, but my driver wouldn't take it from me and said he wanted 30 euros instead, as he had an brought an extra bag in his car.
We were booked into the Radisson Blu Hotel and this turned out to be a great choice. The staff were all friendly, helpful and imformative. We had booked three quad rooms. The extra bed in each room, was a fold up bed and our two older boys decided to drag the matress from the other room, so that they could both be with my husband and me. We very very squashed up, but it was fine. Unfortunately, there seemed to be a problem with the airconditioner, so the room was rather stuffy. The hotel has a small swimming pool on the third floor, so we decided to take the kids for a swim. Diving or jumping into the pool was not allowed, so we were a little tense. My ten year old son climbed out of the pool and picked up a freshly rolled up towel, which he thought I had put there for him. What a commotion..the towel belonged to a elderley man who was wallowing around in the pool. He went beserk, yelling and screaming and waving his fists around. He was yelling so much, I couldn't make out what language he was speaking in. We all apologised repeatedly, but we had obviously spoilt his afternoon and he had certainly spoilt mine. I decided to return to our room to calm down. The rooms have a mini bar, where I found a nice cold bottle of water. Whilst drinking it, I paged through the hotel imformation folder, where I found the price list for the mini bar. Here I discovered that my small bottle of water cost 6 euros. With that, I decided to go and find a shop. I found a little shop around the corner, where a sixpack of small waters were 3.50 euro. What a bargain!
We enjoyed two nights in Marseille, did a hop on hop off bus tour where we visited the cathedral. We tried a couple of little restaurants, but didn't find anything worth commenting on. The breakfast which was included in Raddison Blu hotel rate was really good with a huge assortment of
yoghurts, fruit , cereals, nuts, dried fruit, cold meats, smoked salmon, cheeses, breads, croissants, waffles, pancakes, fried egg/omlettes/scrambled/poached, bacon, mushroom, tomatoes etc.
After two nights in Marseille, we were anxious to get to our Cruise ship, the MSC Splendida. We had been on two MSC Cruises before, but both off South Africa. We managed to pack all our dirty clothing, and other bits and pieces that weren't needed on the cruise, into separate suitcases and the staff at the Radsson blu agreed to store these for us, until our return seven days later. What a lifesaver ! We managed to leave two big bags and three cabin bags behind.
Our minibus taxi came to collect us at one o clock and off we went. It took about 20 minutes to get the Port and there we got our first sighting of our ship. Wow, the Splendida certainly looked Splendid. We went into the Embarking area where we went to the desk to get our Embarking Coupons. Theses could not be found, but our names were on the Guest List. After a short while, they managed to sort this out and we received our coupons. We then had wait a short while before to the Embarking Counters, to get our luggage tagged, give in our passports etc. Here we discovered, that one of our three cabins that we had booked and paid for in December, suddenly wasn't available. Even though the correct cabins numbers were displayed on our Embarking Vouchers, it simply wasn't available. We had especially requested three cabins close together, as my mother was sharing a cabin with my younger son and daughter and I could not have them running around searching for us. My inlaws had never been on ship before and they obviously didn't want to waste time getting lost and trying to track the rest of us down. Unfortunately, their cabin was the one that was not available, but they were cheered up a little, when they were told they were to be upgraded.
We were then able to Embark and were guided to our cabins by cabins by a very sweet Indonesian lady. My inlaws were led off a different direction to their upgraded cabin on the 12th floor, number 12098. We were on the 11th floor at the back of the ship Cabins 11212 and 11216, dirrectly opposite the lifts which was rather handy. We had been given a map of the ship, so decided to go find my inlaws in their apgraded cabin. Their cabin was probably halfway through the ship, quite a walk. We couldn't wait to see their cabin, but low and behold it was the splitting image of ours. Upgrade?
The cabins were very nice though and we were very happy with our balcony which we made sure we sat on each evening. The cabins were kept spotlessly clean and we never had to ask for anything. The cleaning staff in general seemed very efficient and every you walk on the ship, something is busy being vacumned, mopped or polished.
We had been allocated Villa Verde restaurant for our Dinners and for breakfast if we chose to. Villa Verde was very easy to reach from our cabin, just a walk out the door, into the lifts and down to deck 6.As we climbed out the lift, we were right at Villa Verde. My poor inlaws had to catch a lift to the seventh floor, walk to the aft of the ship and then catch another lift down to the sixth floor. Villa Verde was lovely, the food was fantastic and the waiters were excellent. Our two waiters were Indonesian and they really were so nice and went out of their way for us at every meal. The one waiter Jorge entertained us at each meal with all sorts of creatures he created from Napkins and pieces of paper. We would arrive at a meal and my 6 year old daughter would find little paper birds waiting for her on her placemat. I had read bad reviews about the food on the ship, but was so impressed with it. The meals at Villa Verde were honestly delicious. We had lunches at the Bora Bora Cafetaria and then discovered that we could've been eating lunch at our lovely Villa Verde Restaurant. It only opened for lunch between 2 and 4pm, so of course this wasn't always possible if you had gone off on a tour. Lunches in Bora Bora Cafetaria were chaotic, with people pushing and shoving and grabbing tables. There was always long queues at the pasta stations and the fastfood (burger & hotdogs), but the other stations were not too bad. It shocked me to see how people were loading their plates with food, that no normal person could possibly consume and then you would see the poor waiters clearing these plates away with the food barely touched. What an awful waste!
We booked our tours as we got onto the ship and the tickets were to be sent to our cabin. These only arrived whilst we were at dinner, so by the time we discovered them, it was already late and only when you receive your ticket, do you see your departure time and your meeting point which was normally half an hour to 45 minutes before departure. We suddenly had a problem, as we needed to arrange for our 6 year old and 10 year to join the kiddies club, as they were not coming with us on the tour. We went to try and find out about the kiddies club and the young gentleman in Reception tried his best to help us. We were told that kiddies club only starts at 9 o clock, which didn't really make sense to me, as the meeting time for the following morning's tours, was at 8.15am. I thought the purpose of the kiddies club, was for the smaller children to be kept happy and occupied, whilst their parents went off on a tour that would bore them to tears. The chap in Reception made a few calls and then told us that someone would be waiting up the kiddies club at 8am the following morning. That was a relief.
In the morning we rushed to breakfast early, so that the little one's would be fed and ready to go and search for the kiddies club before 8 o clock. We did have a battle trying top find it and were really panicking as we were running out of time. No one really seemed to understand us when we were asking directions, but we eventually managed to find the room that we were meant to be in. There we met up with a pleasant Italian speaking young man. He managed a little English, enough to advise us that there was NO kiddies club that morning, because they were going on a tour!! I never quite understood whether all the other kiddies were going on tour or whether they weren't having kiddies club because of the tour...It made no sense to me at all. He went on say that he would entertain them and they could watch TV and draw...for 5 hours. By now I felt sick, we were now running late for our meeting point for the tour, our parents were waiting there for us. We didn't know if it would be possible to get our little ones on the tour with us and they hadn't wanted to go on the tour anyway. We had already paid 55 euro each for ourselves and our parents to go on the tour and at this stage didn't know if we were going to miss it completely.
So, we had to leave our poor little souls with this childminder and dash off. I was so upset! Why were we not informed when making enquiries about the club, that there was not going to be any kiddies club!!
We managed to get to our tour, but got straight onto the phone to my oldest son, who was still in bed, sleeping in. I asked him to get to the kiddies area to check the younger two. We got a call back from him a while later to say he hadn't been able to find them at the kiddies club. Great! How does one enjoy the tour, when they are now flapping about their children. Told the older son to go off searching again and this attempt was successful and he found them back in the kiddies room. He did phone to tell us this and to let us know that were very unhappy and were wanting him to rescue them!
Obviously we had to get them out of there, so sent him back to try and get them released. This of course was a problem, because the childminder didn't want to release them to my older son. More phonecalls and my husband eventually managed to get the childminder to understand that their brother was there to collect the children and was able to look after them. Very stressful!!
On our return we received the whole report on how scarey it had been at the "club" "the man couldn't really understand" them, so of course didn't really speak to them. He put the TV or a DVD for them, but of course it was in Italian. Needless to say, the 10 year old son never wanted to return to the "Club" and the 6 year old daughter said she would like to try again, but only if there were other children. She did try on another ocassion and spent the morning playing with 2 little girls, but she wasn't sure what language they spoke. on the third try, we were told the children were going to be taught a dance and they would be doing a show up on the pool deck a little later that evening. My daughter was so excited, as she loves dancing.
We made sure we sat right up front so that she could see we were there to watch her. When the children arrived, I could see straight away that she was upset. The little group started with their dance, but of course the instructor was only giving instructions in Italian and all she could do was try her best to keep up. Once it was over she beckoned to us and begged us to "please come and fetch" her. When we collected her, she burst into tears and said she didn't know why the other children wanted to leave her out. They would not platy with her and when the group played "Pass the Parcel", they refused to pass to her and passed the parcel to the child next to her. She asked us to please never take her there again. Great! A bit difficult when you have booked and paid for Tours that are not suitable for small children.
This really was the only issue we had with the Splendida. We had expected to encounter bad mannered Italians and we got them, but I really thought on a Family friendly ship, more effort would be made to entertain the children and to help gather children together of the same language. There had to be other english speaking children on the ship, but amongst 4000 guests, how would you ever meet up with them? Nothing is organised for teenagers either, although a Teen Club is listed on the daily brochure that is pushed under your door each evening. It is shown as been in the Graffiti Disco at 11.30pm. Our two teenage boys attempted this on their first night, but again nothing happening. On our second evening, we bumped into the Cruise Director "Enzo" after the evening show and we mentioned that our teenage boys were desperate to find some other english speaking teens. He asked how many nights we had left of our cruise and when we said 5, he said "Ooh, we'll have to do something about that". That is as far as it got, because nothing was ever done about it. I would expect them to gather the teens together during the day maybe, have different competitions at the pools and to try a identify if there were any English Speaking...put them in team, German speaking..put them in a team etc. Even it only 3 or 4 teens together, at least it is some sort of company for them. My older boys were fortunate to meet a young Swiss Girl and her younger brother on their third night when we dragged them up to the main disco on the 16th deck. My son had sat next to her and plucked up the courage to ask he if she spoke English and yipee, she did. The four of them met up regularly after that and stayed out at the disco until 4 in the morning thereafter.
The tours we booked on the ship were average. Our first stop was Genoa and we booked the PORTOFINO Tour. This cost 55 Euro for adults and 39 Euro for cildren.It involved a 45 minute coach ride to Santa Margherita Ligure, where we a few minutes before climbing onto a boat which took us on a 10 minute ride to Portofino, where we spent about an hour and 20 minutes. We were able to wander around the lovely little town or stop and have coffee etc. Our tour guide said we had to have the best Italian Ice cream ever and pointed out were to get it. We thought we'd go and get one before getting back on the boat, so set off to the other side of the little port to get our ice cream. These ranged from 8 Euro for 1 scoop to 18 Euro for 3 scoops. Suddenly didn't really need that ice cream.
Our second stop was Naples, where we had prearranged a driver to pick us up and drive us along the Amalfi coast to Sorrento and then onto Positano, where he took us to a lovely little restaurant which overlooked the the town, We had a neverending lunch, where the courses just kept on arriving at our table. Our driver then took us back along the coast a nd took us to Pompeii, where we managed to spend an hour before returning to the ship. The driver was very jovial and had the Italian Music going to get us into the mood! he made regular photo stops and was more than happy to take the photographs that we needed. His fee was 420 euro for the nine of us in an airconditioned mini bus. I thought it was one of our best days!
Our third stop was Palermo, where we decided to pass on the tours and thought we go on a little walk ourselves. We had hardly left the ship, before we pounced on by a young lady trying to get us to take a horse and cart ride. She said we'd be shown the different sights and they'd stop and let us go to the market if we would like. This was going to cost 20 euros each, so my husband decided we should go. We climbed into our little carriages and killed ourselves laughing as we looked at each other trotting along. Everynow and then the driver mumble that we had passed a statue or a cathedral, no stopping even for a photo. Suddenly after approximately half an hour, the driver stopped and announced that we could go back to the ship or get out and explore. it was all rather sudden and we had no idea where we were, but out we got and my huband, my mother and my father in law decided to go back to the ship. off they went, leaving my mother in law, our three boys and me staning in the street wandering which way to turn. We eventually asked our way around by pointing at pictures of markets. After 40 minutes of wandering around, we foundthe market, which was a very long alley of all the usual bits and pieces that you find in markets. Didn't find anything interesting and eventually decided we were never going to get to the market, so turned around and went back. We then managed to find someone who could direct us back to the ship.
The following day, we stopped in Tunisia, which we hadn't expected to do, as we had been advised earlier in the year that no ships were stopping in Tunis, because of all the unrest and violence. We were to have a day at sea, which I was quite excited about, as it was half way through the cruise and would provide a good opportunity to relax. However when first embarking the Splendida, we were told that the Tunis stop had been resumed and the ship had stopped there two weeks prior to us and there had been no problems. We decided to do a tour and booked the EXPLORING THE COLOURFUL SOUKS OF TUNIS. This cost 48 euros per adult and children were free. As you leave the ship you aproached by men bearing some sort of flower, which they force upon you and if they manage to get it into your hand or hat or pocket, start demanding 5 euro. Needless to say, they had all their flowers handed bank to them. Our guide led us to our coach, where we were with other english speaking passengers, some germans, and I think some French. We drove through Tunis' modern district and were then dropped off at the Medina(market), which seemed to be a maze of alley ways and passages and delapidated buildings. We were led up and down these alley ways, up stairs, down stairs ans eventually stopped at a carpet shop, where we told briefly what went into the making of the carpets. We were then led up some more stairs, where we had sit and watch as a mountain of rugs and carpets were brought out, each unrolled in front of us and we were given a price for each one. No one was buying the rugs and in fact the only one that was sold, was bought by my inlaws. The price started at 440 euros and my husband to get them all the way to 150 euro. We had to sit while the rest of the rugs were brought out and didplayed and then all rolled back up again. Then we could leave. Down more alleys and then into a perfume shop, where we got to smell various fragrances and people were able to buy if they wanted. Next was a shop that sold various wares and our little party were led into a separate room, because we were the only ones that had bought from the carpet shop so our guide obviously thought he could encourage us buy some handmade jewels which were in this little room. I don't think anyone in the tour group bought anything from this shop.
More alleys and eventually the guide said we could have some free time. We stopped at some stairs and he said we were to meet back there in twenty minutes and then he asked us what the time was. He didn't even have a watch! Various people called out the time and everyone seemed to be a couple of minutes less or more timewise. We decided we were to hot and tired to walk anywhere and quite frankly didn't know how far we could get in 20 minutes. We found a spot to sit on the stairs and most of the tour group seemed to do the same, or they hovered around in the area. After a while, our guide returned and suddenly announced it was time to go. According to our watch, we had not been there for twenty minutes, but no one complained and off we went. I was so excited, as I thought we were heading back to the bus. I was directly behind the guide and noticed him stopping to ask directions frequently. He didn't seem too sure of where he was going. We climbed steep alleys, down little passages again, more stairs and in the blazing heat. I could not wait to see the bus. We had the younger kids with us, so they of course were complaining and of course the parents were battling with all the climbing. Suddenly we reached a door and in went the guide and we were led in up more stairs and into a stuffy room which had tables and chairs were set up. What a relief to sit. I then rembered the tour had mentioned a stop at a cafe for coffee and pastries. No coffee arrived but a plate of date pastries arrived at our table and we were able to buy a cold drink or beer. No glasses though. When then got to watch a traditional Tunisian dance.
Suddenly our guide announced that four of our tour group had been left behind at our previous spot, as they had not returned to the meeting spot in time. He did not have a watch, so he certainly didn't have any idea of the accurate time. At no time did he do a head count, which I think was quite shocking. Fortunately the missing group, had run into another MSC group of a different language and their tour guide contacted our guide on his cell phone. The other guide then led them to the cafe. Our guide then told us that the lost foursome would travel back to the ship with the other tour group, as it would be "unprofessional" of him to wait for them ! I thought it pretty unprofessional of him to have lost them, but he was determined to put the blame on them and once back on the bus made sure he came to every family to ask us if we were going to tell MSC what a good guide he'd been!!! I think we were all very relieved to see our ship. We couldn't board the ship again without letting our little ones have a camel ride, while we took photos. This cost 5 euros for both of them and seemed worthwhile, as it was the same price as the flower they'd tried to force upon us. There were a couple of guys with birds on chains which they had flying around and landing on people's arms. One landed on my daughters arm and the chap who owned it tried to charge me 5 euros. I walked away from him and ranting and raving behind me.
Our fifth stop was Palma de Mallorca. We took the ships shuttle into town for 8 euros per person. We could use the bus coupon to travel to and from town as often as we wished. We went into town and wandered around town and bought quite a few curios from some lovely little shops. We sat at a little cafe in the main street and my husband ordered beer for him, coke for the kids, sangria for his mom and me. Along come enormous mugs which looked like 2 litres to me. The mugs were loaded with dozens of brightly coloured straws and we just had to tuck in. Nothing came in small quantities. We all had a good laugh.
Last stop was Barcelona, where we had booked the PANORAMIC TOUR AND SHOPPING for the ladies and girls and the BARCELONA PANORAMIC & NOU CAMP STADIUM for the men and boys. The shopping tour cost 45 euro for adults and 32 for children. The Stadium tour cost 48 euro for adults and 34 for children. We enjoyed the Panoramic part of the tour but the shopping part of it was a bit of a waste, as we were dropped at a bus stop and were told we had approximately an hour and twenty minutes and then needed to meet back at the bus stop. I had hoped to shop at some markets and buy some gifts for back home, but the area we were dropped in was boutiques, office blocks, banks etc. We did not want to venture too far in case we could not find our way back to the bus stop. The guys all thoroughly enjoyed their tour and it was a dream come true for my younger son to visit the stadium and he came back armed with a new Soccerball and some new soccer boots, which he locked in the safe when back on the ship.
We were very sad that this was our last day on the ship, but it was time to start packing up as our suitcases had to be outside the cabin door by 3am. We enjoyed our last dinner on the ship, with the waiters come through the restarant with blazing Baked Alaskas. Lovely! We went and enjoyed our last show. We had enjoyed all the shows, but especially our first three nights when we'd had a variety show the first night, Willer Nicolodi the one man show the second night and the third night was also a variety show. Thereafter, the shows were mainly dancing, which really didn't appeal to the children, especially the boys. The standard of the dancing was very good though.
On our last morning, we had to be up early, as we needed to be out of our cabins by 7 am. We had our last lovely breakfast and then received such warm farewells from our waiters. Our daughters got big hugs from them both, which made her so happy. They had been her only friends on the ship, so she was very sad to say goodbye to them.
All in all, we had a great cruise on the Splendida, but would definately not recommend it to families with young non Italian speaking children and teenagers, unless you travel with friends. it can be a very boring time for children, if they have no one to play with and if they have to be dragged along on long boring tours.
We ended our trip back at the Radisson Blu for one more night, before heading back home. We were able to repack bags and sort our selves out, do last minute shopping. We had a lovely dinner at the hotel that night and wished we had tried it before, as the meal was really delicious. Had lunch the next day
just along the main street at Papa Pizzeria, which was very good and got a great Bambino deal for 6euro. This iclude a Pizza or a couple of other choices of meal; a juice which turned out to be a huge cocktail looking juice which they were thrilled with. They then got a generous portion of ice cream and wafer and then a little gift box with a toy inside. Definately worthwhile!
Then it was time for home!!
Not enough storage space, when four people are sharing a cabin. Didn't enjoy the shower curtain.