We originally booked this cruise due to price, time frame, & itinerary. The stops were all very interesting & the number of sea days allowed for enjoyment of many on board choices of activities also. As it is a smaller ship, the staff had the time to be much more personal & we felt we were treated like friends rather than customers. This was the last voyage of the Splendour as RCL has sold her to Thompson. That made for a really one of a kind cruise - as all the staff & entertainers recognized that each activity was the last on board this ship! Great fun!
Booked this cruise because of the itenary. Stayed in Dubai for five days before the cruise and a week after the cruise. There is a lot to see and do. The ship is a older smaller ship but we'll kept. Easy to navigate your way around. The food and entertainment was ok. The work out room was small but adequate. Enjoyed the Zumba classes they are free. Our inside cabin 2539 was what we expected. Room steward Yousef was great always greeted us by our names with a smile. The night club had different music theme nights 60's, 70's, 80's which were fun. The ship is being sold to Thomson cruise line. Overall we enjoyed the cruise.
We had the pleasure of have two great waiters for most of the week, because after the first two nights of getting them by luck of the draw, we always asked for a table in their area. That would be Prasath and Elmer (as in Elmer Fudd proclaimed by Elmer). Our water glasses never went below half full as well as our wine glasses never went empty. Prasath did a great job each time of explaining and suggesting the menu items of the day. One evening my wife decided to have a Grasshopper drink after her dinner. Prasath was a little confused by her request, but after explaining it to him; he took the request to the bartender. It wasn’t long and the bartender returned with two delicious Grasshoppers. We had some inquisitive table neighbors wondering what we were drinking. The next evening we couldn’t get a table in the dynamic dual’s area and were placed in another area. It wasn’t the same level of service as Prasath and Elmer, as my wife and I talked about it throughout the dinner. Again, nothing was bad or unpleasant; he just didn’t ring the “WOW” bell. The next night we were able to get a table in Prasath’s area again. We received the usual great Prasath and Elmer services. As Prasath was taking our plates away, he asked if we would like Grasshoppers drinks for desert. Ding Ding, the ‘WOW’ bells go off. I did mention to Elmer how we didn’t receive the great service the previous night from another waiter as we have been from him and Prasath all week.
The ship is of standard quality, though improvements could be made to the single rooms, in which the bed is crowded into a small space. The food is also of standard quality but there is a great deal of variety. The quantity of fresh fruit is a plus.The food is not adequately labeled (e.g.--creme brulee is soupy with bananas in it; French onion soup is beef broth with a few onions, a tiny bit of bread atop with a spoonfull of grated supposedly gruyere cheese; beef sliders at dinner are too small for a main dish). When one asked for eliminations (like no potatoes), one got them anyway. Drinks are overpriced.
There are not a lot of activities for older folk. Trivia questions were mostly contemporary (few historical) and British based, announced by a man who spoke undecipherable English. Theater presentations were cheap and, all except a Beattles show, had poor choreography, one-size-fits-all sets, a soprano who screeched high notes, an M/C who asked for audience applause and dancing in the aisles, and singers/M/C who did not correctly pronounce names of major lyricists (like Oscar Hammerstein--who was an American, not a German HammerSTINE). Many walked out on the shows I attended, and one in a wheelchair didn't make it but tried. Outside of showtime, the M/C spent his time promoting and not relating to people outside of the latest promotion or paying any attention to anyone who might have wanted to ask a question. In a dancing lesson, I saw the dance instructor actually chewed out a participant who did not "get" a particular step right. In the Centrum, the musicians were good but not a one ever played a classical piece--no, not once.
Luckily, the tours off-shore were good, because so few of the activities onboard were.
I had a great time on this cruise. The ports were the highlight for me. Venice (Beautiful) ... Athens (Historic and inspiring) ... Israel (Breathtaking, educational and moving) ... Oman (Pleasant surprise) ... Dubai (Quickly becoming my favorite Asian destination).
I won't go into details about each port because I don't have that much time but they were each wonderful. The ship was cool. It's an older but updated ship. Where they really failed was in the lack of activities. Some days were plain boring so it paid to have good reading materials. I finished a few books. Otherwise wonderful trip.
It was overall a good experience with seasoned staff who were personable and helpful. This ship is soon to leave the RCL Fleet and in desperate need of an overhaul before it starts with the Thompson Charter group. Food was ok and cabin was comfortable though the mattress should be thrown overboard and a new one bought. :)
We pre-paid all transportation, to, from port, Hotel, and to, from airport. We missed our connection in Paris, as we had expected due to security. Called Choice Air emergency #, woke the rep up. He assured us that he would let RCL know we were on a later flight to Venice, and gave him all the flight info. Caught a later flight to Venice, saw an RCL rep waiting for the plane from Germany, she did NOT have us on the list of late arrivals. We were one of several couples who missed the connection in Paris.. Showed her the transfer info, she told us our luggage would be on carousel 2 , and told us where to meet. When we got to the meeting point, she and bus had left with the folks from Germany, and without us. We had to pay for a taxi to the port, 45 Euros, when we already pre-paid all our transportation. Got to the ship at 4:40p.m. They did, however, give us a room credit, but we DID NOT get reimbursed the original transfer fees we paid. If that wasn't bad enough, we stayed over 2 nights in Venice. We did get our transportation to the Hotel from the ship. However, after checking in, we find out that we do not have our voucher to the airport from the Hotel, which was pre-paid. After several phone calls to RCL, concierge, and the booking agent, another miscommunication occurred and we would not be picked up the morning of the flight home.. We had to make our own arrangements, which cost us an additional 110 Euros, and again, not reimbursed for the pre-paid transfers. We have little faith in RCL.
RCL did not have control of the weather, which made us leave Venice late and miss our first port of call which was one of the reasons we took the cruise. Rhodes and Split were great. Bad weather, bad vibration on the ship in the cabin in some instances making us queasy. The ship was old and cabins run down, with overhead lights broken. Would we sail again on the Splendour? NO. RCL? Not sure.
This cruise was a great way to sample several sites by traveling with our "hotel and restaurant". The King & I dining room service was most exceptional. We enjoyed our time in Venice before and after the cruise; it's worth an extra day or two. Ephesus was our favorite stop during the cruise. Although the weather during this end-of-the-season trip caused us to miss our stop at Dubrovnik, overall the much-reduced crowds and cooler temperatures for walking made it all worthwhile
I can't rate this any better than a 3 because there were too many stressful moments.. We started off the first day soaking wet because they were unloading luggage at the taxi dock and you had to walk a good distance to the terminal. no assistance or even umbrella was even offered.
After that we missed the first port because of weather delays leaving Venice. After spending two days at sea we were ready to get off he boat in Rhoades. Lovely port just not enough time. We had hoped since we missed the first stop we could have been at least given the whole day there. Another full day at sea high winds extremely rocky boat (bouncing off the wall rocky). Then Turkey another lovely day just to short. Onto Split, another day and night of horrid day and night extremely high winds. We are 4 hours late docking in Split because of the wind. they did extend the time some but it really messed up the tours for the day. Ours went off but was cut short and really was not worth the cost. To make things worse my husband became ill and spent the last 3 days in bed sick.
The cruise itinerary was above my expectations. I totally enjoyed the Ports of call.
The service onboard the ship was very good. Improvement is needed in the areas of onboard entertainment. There was not enough daily activities on board the ship compared to the other cruises I have taken for the past 20 years.
What happen to ice sculptures etc... . There was talk in the dining room of the company stopping the waiters from entertaining ( singing and dancing on specific nights) . That is a big NO NO. guests totally enjoy that experience.
Would've been nice to receive daily planners ahead of time rather than late the night before the next day. Can wait and plan excursions once on ship. King and I dining experience is fun (get dressed and up and be waited on), but food is only fair. Windjammer food was good and variety was great!
There was nothing to drink after dinner except the bars. They didn't have a midnight buffet like the other cruises I've been on. The food was just ok. The lemonade was awesome. The alcoholic beverages were $14 each (very pricey). There were plenty of things to do on the ship daily.
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