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!
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Splendour of the seas is an older ship. It is not as updated as the newer ships out there. The shows also were not the best and especially the ones in the main lobby. There is no seating and they are only 5-10 min long. The ship could have had more activities going on during your time on the ship. Most of the activities were from the Casino or shops. Good was great and the staff was great on the ship
Also Royal Caribbean did not notify us until we got on the ship that the port of Athens was on strike so we were not going to that island. Had I known that in advance k would have tried to change my sailing date. That was one of the main places my wife and I wanted to visit.
We contracted a norovirus after a sea day on this trip and were confined to our cabin for 24hrs at the highlight of the trip, Ephesus. There was nothing to do on board, no movies and expensive wifi ($40 a day) just channels telling you what expensive items you could buy on board, basically 24hrs of the shopping channel. RC offered us a small discount on another trip taken within one year, which we do not want, but have not paid for the $339 for their excursion we missed. (They physically refuse to let you off the ship until 24hrs from the time the virus starts, even if you feel better.)
Overall, we enjoyed this cruise. Internet service charge was $40.00 for one day, but if you buy package internet svc, it was $20.00/per day. it's expensive to me. Windjammer has variety of food and food taste was good and the service was great. They work hard to make customers happy.
Starting in Venice, arrived a day early to enjoy this great city, then adding Kotor Montenegro ( a neat surprise), Corfu (palace was nice, the monastery a waste), Athens ( got to do the Acropolis!), Mykonos (shop,eat, drink, repeat!), & Argostoli (keep walking - a cool little town when you get a little past the initial waterfront), ending back in Venice was a perfect itinerary. Each port was special and different.
The ship staff was very friendly & helpful, clearly wanting to make a good impression, save for one front desk supervisor who needs to be relocated to the engine room so he never has to talk to Guests.
This was our third R.C cruise but first in a number of years. We had expected R.C. to exceed competitor cruise lines from our recent cruises in the past year, (2 carnival & 1 Norwegian), however on several levels R.C. fell surprisingly short: from the stateroom (pillows were flat & hard, no frig, lacking storage & amenities.), to the music (no variety-all the same- 'elevator' style, & no cultural music infused from the destinations visited), to the shows which were just ok but far short on inspiration & production quality as we experienced on Carnival & Norwegian, & the food which had uninspired menus, nothing reflecting local ports cuisine. Very average quality. (service was very good though)
Sorry, R.C. but there was no WOW from you on this cruise. We have gained new respect for your competitors & will choose them (also Celebrity) for our near future trips.
Enjoyed every single second of this cruise. Each destination was absolutely gorgeous!! This was our first cruise and we were very impressed. Will be taking more cruises in our future! We loved the variety of things to do onboard and flexibility of disembarking at ports. Drink package was well used, but not explained well even though we asked at least 5 people what our package included (no one gave us the same answer twice). Great staff and entertainment!
My boyfriend and I took our first Mediterranean cruise through RC and had a fantastic time. The entertainment staff was very interested in everyone having a good time. The staff was extremely nice, but I feel a little understaffed. I didn't feel as pampered as the previous three cruises I've taken.
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