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We got off the Splendour today after a 5-day cruise out of Galveston to Cozumel and Costa Maya. We boarded on Saturday, April 3rd about 4pm and there was absolutely nobody in line! We were checked in and on our way to the boat in no time at all. We boarded so late because we were visiting relatives in Houston, but I know that other folks boarded before noon. It was very easy to drive up to the pier, drop off passengers and luggage and then park in the off-site parking lot ($45.00 for 5 night cruise). The porters at the pier were not pushy about their tips and I tipped $1 per bag.
Once onboard, we proceeded to our rooms. DH and I were in a balcony cabin on deck 8 and the kids (teenagers) were across the hall in an inside cabin. Our room was absolutely fantastic! We had both a good-sized room and a good-sized bathroom (with a full-size tub and shower). The room was in great shape, showing no wear and tear at all. The stateroom attendant, Adrian, had already emptied the fridge so we had plenty of room for our Diet Dr. Peppers. The balcony had one lounge chair, two other chairs and a small round table--all plastic. It seemed plenty spacious to us and we used it a lot.
The kids' room was, of course, smaller and darker. But it was also in excellent condition and was perfectly suitable.
We had the lifejacket drill an hour after boarding and our luggage was in our room even before the drill. After the drill, we had just enough time to change clothes for our main seating dinner. It was casual night, but since the bags had arrived in such a timely manner most folks were not wearing shorts. Our waiter was Dimitrij from Lithuania and was a perfectly good waiter. We had a table just for the four of us on the upper level of the beautiful King and I restaurant. We liked this location because you didn't have a deck railing obscuring your view. We ate dinner every night (except formal night) at the restaurant and the food was excellent--much better than I expected. Everything we were served was presented so well and tasted so good. Among us four we had cod, ravioli, chicken with rosemary, turkey parmesean, baked turkey, and prime rib. The desserts also exceeded my expectations except for the dessert on the last night--dark chocolate brownie. My kids and I each ordered that and even though we are all choc-o-holics, none of us ate more than a bite--it was very, very dry! However, the kids had a moist chocolate pudding-cake one night that was to die for! Also excellent was the key lime pie. One night they served baked Alaska and we were hoping that it would come out flaming, but it did not. Nevertheless, the kids enjoyed it.
That evening we went to the Welcome Aboard show in the 42nd Street theatre. We got there about 15 minutes before showtime and had no problem getting a good seat. It was crowded on the nights of the Productions Shows (nights 2 and 4)and you needed to get there at least 15-20 minutes early for a good seat. But it wasn't necessary to get there that early on the Guest Artists nights. There were guest artists on nights 1, 3 and 5. Night 1, the Welcome Aboard show, featured a comedian who I didn't find very funny but he left the ship when we returned to Galveston. On night 3 was a comic with a duck puppet. Some of the show was funny, but most of it was not. However, it was something that the young children aboard seemed to really like. On night 5 we had a juggler and a woman who did hula-hoops. They were OK. On the other hand, the two production shows were great! On night 2, the singers and dancers performed a show called "Starstruck" featuring songs from the movies. On night 4 they performed a show featuring songs from Broadway shows.
Dancing was available every night. There were several theme nights for dancing--70's Disco, 50's and 60's Rock and Roll and Country Western. We attended the Rock and Roll night and it was a blast! I believe there was also dancing in the Viking Crown Lounge every night for the over 18 crowd, but we didn't attend these. There seemed to be plenty of opportunities to dance in the evening.
This pretty much finished Day One. I'll do more about the activities, teen activities, port activities and dining options in later posts. Any questions?
Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to your next installment! I had the same room question! We are in a JS (8552) and my parents are in 8553(inside). Glad to hear they weren't showing wear and tear too badly! Did you notice sewage smell (I read that some people had smelled it near the public restrooms on one of the decks)? What about vibration?
...until our August 28, 2004 Splendour of the Seas
Yes, we had a Junior Suite. I did not notice any sewage smells on the ship, even in the public bathrooms. I noticed some vibration when I was in bed, but it wasn't distracting. In fact, I found it rather soothing--like "magic fingers".
Glad to hear you had a great time! Wish I had a balcony this time around! It's hard to go back to just a window. I like the fresh sea air! Looking forward to the rest of your review!
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This was a great start to your review and i know all of us going in the next few weks appriciate it!
I will be in 8011(Inside Cat J) and the parents will be in 8034 (Balcony Cat C) in 1 week! you mentioned you had the early seating for dinner how was the first evening with sailing out of dock at dinner time(6pm) I would think it would be nice watching sail-away?
Also you mentioned Casual the first night dinner so people were allowed to wear shorts this night?
Great review, you got on right after we got off the ship last Sat. I'm nostalgic already.
Such a great ship.
Shorts at dinner: our luggage came very late (about 15 minutes before dinner) and I was worried as we were in shorts. Our cabin steward said "no worries" and if the luggage didn't arrive in time, go in our shorts, they make exceptions the first night due to the luggage situation. However, our luggage did arrive and I don't think I saw more than 1 or 2 people in shorts
Thank you for taking the time to begin your wonderful review. It does sound as if these later cruises are going better than the first ones. (I have read on the board that there was a captain change after the first few cruises), and it does sound as if the ship's overall condition is good. I am soooo relieved, as I talked SO into taking this cruise (we had major mechanical problems this time last year on Splendour) -- and I don't want to listen to him if things don't go fairly well!
We wear long pants (me -- capris or longer) SO casual cotton long ...) to board. Our weather here can be tricky, and may be cool in the mornings/noontime. In our carryon, we take shorts for changing once we board. If the luggage should not arrive before dinner (has NEVER happened to us BTW), we would just wear our boarding clothes.
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Jimtown, have a wonderful trip and tell us all about it when you return!!! We too have the cat. C (seems that that is now called a JS also). What catagory is your cabin? our parents is K. Let me know how your beds are if you wouldn't mind. ANY tips will be so appreciated!
...until our August 28, 2004 Splendour of the Seas
As I have mentioned, we were in a JS and our bed was so comfortable. I am rather picky when it comes to hotel beds and I slept like a rock on these beds. My kids were in a Cat K room and their beds felt as comfortable as mine. Your parents should have no problems with the beds.
Thank you for the detailed review. It surely helps as we sail out next Saturday. I'm interested in the teen activities as my daughter who's 16 and her best friend, and my 12 yr old son will be going. Was there many teens aboard? Also was there an poolside deck party during your cruise? Thanks for the info.