Eastern Mediterranean Cruise on Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas
Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Sail Date: June 01, 2013
Ship: Splendour of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 4 years ago
Thiis was our fourth cruise and the third on Royal Caribbean. They have all been good, but this was the best thus far. We acutally sailed on Splendour of the Seas years ago out of Barcelona, and it has since been refurbished. We arrived in Venice two days in advance of the sailing date and spent one day seeing the highlights of this splendid city. We took the alilaguna taxi from Marco Polo airport to our hotel on the Grand Canal and found the vaparetto boats around town efficient and relatively inexpensive, if occasionally crowded during "rush hour". We took the boat again to the cruise terminal on Saturday morning and the jumped on the "people mover" to within a couple of blocks of the ship. We missed the sign for baggage check-in and went straight up the escalator for processing which forced us to go back down after getting our Set Sail passess, but that was a minor inconvenience. We sailed later that evening and awoke to our first port of Dubrovnik. This was the only port at which we didn't book an excursion and just scheduled a bus ride from the ship to the old city. There we walked the wall and explored the town and shopping on our own. It was beautiful and interesting. We had a lunch of fresh seafood, bread and Croatian beer at the old harbour which was excellent. Our next stop was Corfu, Greece. There, we did an excursion to a monastery and the Achilleon Palace. We almost missed the departure, however, because we relied on the time on our cell phones which did not update for the time change. So it is important to ensure one wakes up on time. We had a wonderful tour guide who explained the history, the culture, and the geography of Corfu as well as the locations we visited. it was well worth the cost. The third day took us to Santorini which was our favorite and the most beautiful or our destinations, in our opinion. That was the only port where we "tendered" in to shore. But all went smoothly and it was a fun experience. Once again, we had a great tour guide who joked about the somewhat unnerving bus ride up the side of the mountain to Oia and Fera and, once again was knowledgeable and entertaining about the area and history. We visited the local winery and had ample time for shopping. We found the prices in Santorini to be the best on the entire cruise. Once again we had a lunch of giros and Greek beer, before taking the cable car down to the harbour and back to the ship. The next stop was Athens where we once agaiin did an excrursion since we had not been there before. Of course, a stop at the base of the Acropolis and shopping at the Plaka was a must. There is a relatively new museum which we did not have a chance to visit, but have heard it is exceptional. For a third time, we were lucky to have a great tour guide who filled us in on the local flavor and "herded" us around carefully. The last stop of our cruise was Olympia and the site of the first olympics. We were blessed with our most knowledgeable guide yet who dazzled us with stories of Greek history and mythology. We were lucky to be the first tour group in the Olympic Museum so our group was alone at the time and he was able to spend more time and go into more detail with us. All in all, every stop was spectacularly beautiful and historic and our tour guides enhanced our experience tremendously.
As far as Splendour of the Seas itself, we found the usual uncompromised service and attention to detail. We arranged for "My Time Dining" but enjoyed dinner at the same table and time each night because of the fun we had and friendships we made with the others at our table which included folks from New York, Australia, Norway, and the UK. We socialized with our table mates as well because the chemistry was perfect. The venues included karaoke, disco, and the piano bar. We still found time to enjoy a show or two, bask around the pool, and take advantage of some of the spa facilities.
The only difficulty I encountered was accessing the internet from my cabin even though we were deck 7 with a balcony. Eventually, I discovered I had better success on the higher decks and especially at the deck 8 internet location. I purchased the basic $35 option and ended up using most of the minutes just to check email.
In summary, this was a wonderful cruise, especially for anyone who has not visited this part of the world before, and I highly recommend it.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Check upper decks for access to the internet. Note that the
ATM on deck 5 dispenses Euros while the ATM in the casino dispenses US dollars. Remember to check in large baggage on the dock before in processing.