October 2015 - Splendour of the Seas to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
It's so unfortunate that me and my wife's 20th Wedding Anniversary was impacted by the Harbor Pilot's strike at Piraeus (Athens), Greece, preventing us from visiting, what I expected to be, the pinnacle of our cruise. Not the ship or crew's fault, but beware of your itinerary and any lingering tensions, ongoing negotiations, with private and/or public entities which could impact your travel.
As for the cruise itself: I was almost immediately unimpressed by the ports-of-call.
In my opinion, these ports were chosen by R/C to minimize costs, placate tourist bureaus while satisfying the uninitiated. Several of the ports looked exactly like the ones before. Despite being within easy sailing distance of ancient Greek ruins the ports on this trip had none. The excursions we purchased were great, in as far as, being entertaining, but still lacked 'WOW' and, despite the expense, water was not made available at any time on the 4-5 hours of our sunny exposition.
The cruise ship itself (Splendor of the Seas) was immaculately clean, well maintained, and well manned. Great efforts were taken to limit the possibility of contracting the infamous Norovirus. But still, my wife and I both contracted a respiratory infection. which hit us on the final days. So many folks with inherent afflictions just don't bother to cover their mouths when they cough. The breakfast buffet was atrocious. Trying to please everyone meant a sacrifice for many. The scrambled eggs, for example, were horrid. The disorganized buffet style meant people would rudely overtake you. No disappointments with main dining, etc., Waite staff was excellent and dynamic and the food excellent. Just expected more included alternate eatery options. The on-board entertainment was just OK. Some of the shows were too brief while others were just plain lame for the middle-aged.