Venice, Turkey, and the Greek Islands

Royal Caribbean International | Splendour of the Seas Reviews

By stephen gibbins on 26 June 2012

Splendour OTS was as expected – clean and comfortable, and, as expected, excellent staff. Drinks were also as expected – expensive – around $30 for the cheapest bottle of wine at dinner. And also as expected (as on most if not all cruise ships), they are out to part you from your hard earned cash at every opportunity, with excursions, paying extra to eat in restaurants other that the main dining room, and taking your photo at every opportunity. But I was expecting all that, anyway, so it came as no surprise.
The ship was ok, staff were good (excellent cabin staff as usual). It seemed on some of the excursions they were struggling to find something to fill the time and justify the trip (and the expense !) (do you really need to end a sightseeing trip with a stop off in the local town centre for shopping ?).
The “poolside police” just didnt appear, so sunbeds were “reserved” with the usual towel/sunglasses/book, but left unoccupied for long periods, even though signs stated items would be removed after 30 minutes, to free up the sunbed, they never were.
Entertainment was also ok, some very good acts, however some very mediocre stuff as well, so quite varied !
For me, and many other passengers, the disappointment of the trip was the selection of “anytime dining” – rather than choose a fixed dining time, we preferred to be able to go into the dining room when we wanted. This just didn’t work – long queues waiting for tables, being told to come back in anything from 15 to 45 minutes, then having to join the back of the queue again, and it seems some tables were empty when we did sit down; we also said we would like to share a table – on some occasions we had a table for 8 just for the 2 of us, while others waited ouside. We eventually opted to book an 8.30 slot every night, which seemed to work a bit better – so beware, AnyTime diners !
This experience hasn’t put me off cruising, though, but having cruised with Celebrity and Princess, amongst others, I’m not sure I would choose to go with RCI again (my first time with RCI), but I guess it will all depend on the itinerary.

By stephen gibbins on 26 June 2012

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