We've fallen in love with cruising and both agreed that another Mediterranean cruise was a perfect way to celebrate. Partly because this would allow us to visit Germany and Paris beforehand. The pre-cruise travel was extraordinary but not the point of this review so I'll move on.
We took the overnight (sleep) train from Paris to Venice. It arrived just after 9:00 a.m. We saw the ship as we came across the bay into the station. Getting to it was not as easy. The easiest way would probably be to take a water taxi to the cruise ship terminal but we are strong bodied and cheap, so we walked across the bridge to the people mover (one euro). While the people mover took us closer to the ship, we still had a ten to fifteen minute walk (with our luggage) to get to the cruise ship terminal. However, once in the terminal (after 10:00), RCI moved us through very quickly and efficiently.
Once on-board we enjoyed the buffet and toured the ship. We had never been on the Splendour before. Our favorite ship is the Radiance size and the Splendour felt small to us. In several places it felt congested and crowded, specifically in the Windjammer and several areas around the Centrum. The food on the ship was good, although often uninspired. The variety of dishes offered was fair to good but not as broad as we have found on other ships. The had a theme in the Windjammer quite often; I especially enjoyed Indian night. The gym was very small but the steam and sauna were one of the best maintained I've ever experienced. The entertainment was overall very poor, pathetic magicians. The two worthy guest entertainers I will need to add later (I hope I can edit this).
We were docked in Venice overnight, so we headed into Venice. Some other folks we had meet on Cruise Critic went with us to Venice, the Story (a multimedia play). It was fun and we recommend it.
The ports of call made this cruise the wonderful event it was. Our favorites were Kusadasi and Split. In Kusadasi we had booked a private tour with MilaTour (recommended by Rick Steves) and toured Ephesus including the Terrace Houses. If you ever get the chance you must go!
In Split we booked a ship excursion to Krka National Park. This was extraordinary. We booked this on-board because it is quite a long drive. The roads were very good and I'm not sure if we were to do it again we wouldn't book a private tour and have more control over our time. The drive was about two hours and we spent about three and a half hours at the park. We would have enjoyed a private tour and gone to other sections of the park. The views were stunning and everyone who sees our pictures is impressed.
Overall, I highly recommend the cruise because of the ports but the ship itself is not one that I think I would book again. There are so many other RCI ships that we enjoy more.
Cabin 8523 is below the pool deck; not the pool itself but where the band plays. So during the late morning and afternoon you can hear the band in the room. We never heard anything before late morning and didn't hear any noise after 3:00 p.m. Besides that, we loved how convenient the room was to so much of the ship. We always ate in the windjammer and could be there in five minutes. The gym, which we frequented was the furtherest away (but I will not complain about walking to the gym to exercise.)