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Artemis

Just off the revitalized Splendour OTS in Brazil!

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We just returned from a fabulous March 11, 2012, voyage on Splendour of the Seas out of São Paulo, Brazil. I think she looks marvelous after her 5-week “extreme makeover” last November!

 

I know many of you with future Splendour bookings have been waiting for post-revitalization reports, so here are a few highlights (of my opinions—YMMV) and pictures to whet your appetite! I hope to post a proper review later to share how much we enjoyed our overall Splendour experience and, specifically, the Brazilian “immersion cruise” experience from our American perspective. (In a nutshell, the Splendour exceeded our expectations in every way. We thought her staff and crew were the happiest we’ve met in 27 cruises! The one-week taste of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay itinerary was great, we received terrific English-speaking support from Splendour’s staff and crew and we had a wonderful time with the predominantly Brazilian passengers plus a record 70 English-speakers from all over the world. I received a lot of helpful information and tips from CC’ers pre-booking about what to expect from the Brazilian experience and how to maximize our land touring—many thanks to all of you!).

 

In the meantime, I’m happy to try to answer any questions. And with any luck, some of the others we met aboard will be sharing their Splendour feedback, too—at the fast pace the Royal Caribbean forum moves, I’ll be using the Search function to watch for their posts!

 

Splendour’s new and improved public areas

Dated tropical themes and pastels are out! Clean lines, leather and textured fabrics and bold accent colors and metallic finishes are in! Overall, the new look and feel is sophisticated and fairly timeless, except for a touch of 60's Mad Men-ish flair, particularly in the lobby-level Centrum and R Bar.

 

From top to bottom, these are the changes that made the greatest impression on me:

 

• On the ship’s highest Deck 11, Chops Grille ($35 dining fee pp) and Izumi ($3 pp lunch dining fee/$5 pp dinner fee + à la carte pricing) specialty restaurants were carved out of the spacious but underutilized Viking Crown Lounge, producing three appropriately-sized and glass-walled “rooms with a view” wrapped around the ship’s smokestack. The Viking Crown now offers a small plates menu (priced à la carte) from 5p-1a (and beyond when the crowd’s still dancing!). A Chops filet was available nightly on the main dining room menu for $14.95 (and was delicious).

• On pool Deck 9, burgers and pizza have given way to two casual complements to The Windjammer brought over from the Oasis and Allure: the ever popular Park Café and Boardwalk Dog House gourmet hot dog stand. There’s no upcharge for the food at either, you can still get hamburgers in The Windjammer, you can get pizza only by room service (which is available 24 hours, although a $3.95 service charge is applied to all room service orders from midnight to 5a) and yes, the signature roast beef sandwich and design-your-own salad are the main attractions at Splendour’s Park Café!

• Also on Deck 9, you’ve gotta love the poolside movie screen….

• Fellow passengers raved about the Chef’s Table, a hosted multi-course dinner with wine pairings ($95 pp) held in an intimate private dining room on the Deck 5 upper level of the King & I main dining room. Because this experience is currently offered on only four ships (Oasis, Allure, Radiance and Splendour) and seating is limited to 12-16 depending on the ship, it’s recommended you request a booking pre-cruise via your online cruise planner to insure receipt of a confirming “invitation.” Splendour offered a specialty dining package for $105 pp to dine at all three restaurants—what a deal!

• All roads on Decks 4 to 8 lead to the Centrum, which has become the heart of the ship! By making a few “vertical tweaks” in design and programming (like installing floor-to-ceiling artistic light panels and dangling acrobats from the 8th floor, oh my!), Royal Caribbean transformed a typically ho-hum atrium lobby into a dynamic and visually stunning five-story hub of shipboard life. Day and night, Splendour’s Centrum was hopping with activities and entertainment ranging from napkin-folding demonstrations and Captain’s gatherings to easy-listening music, themed dance parties (their 70’s Village People act is a scream!) and astonishing aerialist performances. You can participate by turning up at the Compass-appointed time to claim a comfy lobby chair and order a cocktail made from scratch by the talented R Bar mixologist (his caipirinha rivaled my favorite Rio version!)—OR, you can simply join the fun as you happen upon it because no matter what deck you’re on or what you’re doing, the Centrum will engage your senses and draw you in!

 

The refurbished staterooms

The new décor is simple and smart, and everything is so fresh and clean—it was a delight to be among the first to occupy these staterooms! I admired the color palette for the new carpets, bedspreads, furniture upholstery and patterned sheer drapes—it was a handsome yet soothing mix of mostly turquoise on a neutral background with reddish-brown accents.

 

We had our first ever junior suite (8078, which is the last portside JS toward the aft of the ship) and truly appreciated the larger bathroom with tub, walk-in closet and extra “breathing room” in the main area of the cabin.

 

About those in-room iPads….

The iPads are aboard, but not in staterooms. They’ve encountered unexpected technical glitches! The most promising statement I heard was, they hope to solve all issues during the upcoming summer season in Europe.

 

All of the other renovations and new features

We didn’t have one of the 124 new cabins, our babies are now in college and this was our qualifying Diamond cruise…so I can’t report on improvements in those areas. But here are links to various RCI sources outlining all of the work done to revitalize the Splendour and capturing most of the end results in gorgeous photos and video:

 

Summary of Revitalization on the Royal Caribbean website

 

Pictures of the results from the Royal Caribbean Facebook

 

Revitalization movie from the Royal Caribbean blog

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I didn't take many pix, and the ones I snapped (mostly from my iPhone) aren't that good. But here are a few:

 

Splendour_March2012_callouts.jpg

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Excellent, and very detailed report! Thanks so much for sharing!

 

Would you be able to tell me who the cruise director is, so I can update the Current CD list?

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Cabin colors, new flat screen TV and the crowded electrical outlet! (There are side-by-side outlets, two 120V US-style and two 220V Euro-style. We brought a handy CyberPower TRVL918 Travel Surge Protector with 3-Out, 2 USB Charging Ports Flip Out Plug gadget ($15.26 at Amazon) that gave us three extra US plugs plus two USB charging ports robust enough to charge two iPhones at once, but not robust enough to charge even one iPad, i.e., we had to put our iPad chargers in the actual power plug.)

 

Splendour_JuniorSuite_desk.jpg

Edited by Artemis

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Hi, DonnaK, thanks for maintaining that list for the Royal Caribbean community. It is so helpful!

 

Splendour's cruise director in Brazil was João Pereira. He's been with the company since 2007 in both Europe and Brazil. João is very outgoing and polished, and we were impressed by how effortlessly he moved back and forth between Portuguese and English. We thought he did a bang-up job with the entertainment and activities program. Even though it was conceived with the Brazilian audience in mind, João and his staffers warmly welcomed the non-Brazilians and helped integrate us in the activities.

 

I failed to find out which staffers would remain with the ship when it transits to Europe for the summer season, so you may have to keep a watch on future reports. Sorry!

Edited by Artemis

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Thank you for the report. I will always have a soft spot for Splendour. Our first cruise was an Eastern Med cruise aboard Splendour in 2007.

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Thank you for the report. I will always have a soft spot for Splendour. Our first cruise was an Eastern Med cruise aboard Splendour in 2007.

 

What a coincidence - same here - a soft spot for her because our first cruise was also on Splendour on the E Med cruise in summer 2007.

 

Thanks SO much for such a detailed report, I've been looking forward to hearing some news about the revitalised Splendour as we'll be sailing on the Grandeur in June, which is undergoing the same revitalisation.

 

Glad to hear you were so happy with your cruise and with the changes which have taken place on the ship :)

Edited by Bobal

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Thank you all for reading!

 

Those soft spots are so sweet, aren't they? :) Ours is actually for Splendour's "younger" sister Rhapsody! It is hard to believe those mid/late 90's Vision-class ships are now considered "old." (Of course, it's hard to believe I'm now considered "old," too!) After our lovely time on the revitalized Splendour, I'm convinced we need to give Rhapsody another go (she's in the middle of her makeover right now!). I may have to arm wrestle my better half over that one--he's itching to cruise on Allure next, as we really liked Oasis; but I know he agrees with me that Splendour reminded us just how enjoyable a "small" ship can be.

 

Bon voyage on the revitalised Grandeur, Bobal!

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Thanks a lot!!!!!!!

We are traveling on June from Venice.. We are a group of 6 families with teenage girls!!!

Some questions are..

What about entertainment? What shows? The 3 deal restaurants for $105, is itzumi, samba and chops???????????????Or chef table??????

the movie screen in the pool are at day and at nigth??

best wishes,

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Hi, patry,

 

Your Med voyage sounds like a blast--I love that part of the world, and traveling with teenagers is always fun.

 

I can't help you much on entertainment and shows, as those change depending on where the ship is based. Except for the production show called Dancin' Thru the Movies, the shows on this cruise were very local in nature, e.g., Brazilian Carnival-themed and Argentinian tango. On all of our European cruises, the entertainment has been pretty much the same as on Caribbean cruises, so I think it's fair to expect some production show nights plus the usual assortment of headline entertainment like magicians, comedians, singers, etc. Candidly, a Med itinerary is wonderful yet port-intensive, thus a little tiring, as you are daily on the go-go. Some nights, you won't get back to the ship until late. And the nights you're back on board for dinner, you may not be into the nighttime shows as much as you've been before. Sometimes, just meeting your friends for a nightcap and talking about your day and the day ahead will be good enough! And of course, the teens will figure out their own fun!

 

Note, if you're traveling in early June (as we did with our teens), there will not be a lot of kids on board as Europe schools (and some US schools) are still in session. The kid count picks up as the month goes on. Also, you might have to remind them of the fun Greek island beach days ahead if they grumble over early morning port calls to sightsee in historical cities!

 

I can't predict on the movies, either. They screened only a few things during our voyage, but I think that was because the audience was mostly Portuguese and Royal Caribbean had rights to productions in English. Here's what they showed: Katy Perry Live (30 min. in the PM), Lady Gaga Live in London (25 min. PM) and The Artist (full feature film - at night).

 

There are only three specialty restaurants on Splendour: Chops Grille, Izumu Asian fusion and the Chef's Table. No Samba! The $105 package covers all three.

 

Happy cruise!

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Nice review, and thank you for sharing!

 

There are only three specialty restaurants on Splendour: Chops Grille, Izumu Asian fusion and the Chef's Table. No Samba! The $105 package covers all three.

 

Happy cruise![/QUOTe]

 

For $10 more than the Chef's table, you,got all 3? Wow! Sign me up (on Rhapsody)!

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The poolside movie screen!

 

Splendour_Movie_Pool.jpg

Is this on the whole time?

How loud is it :(

I really don't like the idea of this thing blaring out whilst I'm trying to relax or read :eek:

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Great detail , love the pics , I wonder if Grandeur will have the same upgrades when she goes into dry dock soon , I am looking to book her for September , would be great if she was upgraded the same .

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Nice review, and thank you for sharing!

 

 

 

For $10 more than the Chef's table, you,got all 3? Wow! Sign me up (on Rhapsody)!

 

That is what I was thinking!:p

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critterchick & truffles2, yeah, it's an amazing deal, and apparently, they are very generous with the wine pours during the Chef's Table experience.

 

Albert Ross, no worries, there is no audio with the movie screen except when a movie is playing. But they do crank up the amp when the poolside band is on deck! The best place to go to relax and read is the Solarium...the ambiance there is much more serene.

 

Lottycruiser, yes, I believe the Grandeur's makeover will be very similar! I am excited for you!

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Thanks for your review. The Splendour looks great. I am so glad that RCI is spending the money to bring their older ships up to match that of the newer members of the fleet.

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critterchick & truffles2, yeah, it's an amazing deal, and apparently, they are very generous with the wine pours during the Chef's Table experience.

 

We did the Chef's Table on Allure and they were generour; however, I wasn't wild about the wines that were chosen...

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Thanks a lot, Artemis

The cruise is on June 30 so, hope there are more teenagers,

In the RCI web page said samba as one of the specialist restaurants that why i asked!!!!

i guess i have to wait until the ship is on Europe to have more info about the shows!!!!

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We just returned from a fabulous March 11, 2012, voyage on Splendour of the Seas out of São Paulo, Brazil. I think she looks marvelous after her 5-week “extreme makeover” last November!

 

I know many of you with future Splendour bookings have been waiting for post-revitalization reports, so here are a few highlights (of my opinions—YMMV) and pictures to whet your appetite! I hope to post a proper review later to share how much we enjoyed our overall Splendour experience and, specifically, the Brazilian “immersion cruise” experience from our American perspective. (In a nutshell, the Splendour exceeded our expectations in every way. We thought her staff and crew were the happiest we’ve met in 27 cruises! The one-week taste of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay itinerary was great, we received terrific English-speaking support from Splendour’s staff and crew and we had a wonderful time with the predominantly Brazilian passengers plus a record 70 English-speakers from all over the world. I received a lot of helpful information and tips from CC’ers pre-booking about what to expect from the Brazilian experience and how to maximize our land touring—many thanks to all of you!).

 

In the meantime, I’m happy to try to answer any questions. And with any luck, some of the others we met aboard will be sharing their Splendour feedback, too—at the fast pace the Royal Caribbean forum moves, I’ll be using the Search function to watch for their posts!

 

Splendour’s new and improved public areas

Dated tropical themes and pastels are out! Clean lines, leather and textured fabrics and bold accent colors and metallic finishes are in! Overall, the new look and feel is sophisticated and fairly timeless, except for a touch of 60's Mad Men-ish flair, particularly in the lobby-level Centrum and R Bar.

 

From top to bottom, these are the changes that made the greatest impression on me:

 

• On the ship’s highest Deck 11, Chops Grille ($35 dining fee pp) and Izumi ($3 pp lunch dining fee/$5 pp dinner fee + à la carte pricing) specialty restaurants were carved out of the spacious but underutilized Viking Crown Lounge, producing three appropriately-sized and glass-walled “rooms with a view” wrapped around the ship’s smokestack. The Viking Crown now offers a small plates menu (priced à la carte) from 5p-1a (and beyond when the crowd’s still dancing!). A Chops filet was available nightly on the main dining room menu for $14.95 (and was delicious).

• On pool Deck 9, burgers and pizza have given way to two casual complements to The Windjammer brought over from the Oasis and Allure: the ever popular Park Café and Boardwalk Dog House gourmet hot dog stand. There’s no upcharge for the food at either, you can still get hamburgers in The Windjammer, you can get pizza only by room service (which is available 24 hours, although a $3.95 service charge is applied to all room service orders from midnight to 5a) and yes, the signature roast beef sandwich and design-your-own salad are the main attractions at Splendour’s Park Café!

• Also on Deck 9, you’ve gotta love the poolside movie screen….

• Fellow passengers raved about the Chef’s Table, a hosted multi-course dinner with wine pairings ($95 pp) held in an intimate private dining room on the Deck 5 upper level of the King & I main dining room. Because this experience is currently offered on only four ships (Oasis, Allure, Radiance and Splendour) and seating is limited to 12-16 depending on the ship, it’s recommended you request a booking pre-cruise via your online cruise planner to insure receipt of a confirming “invitation.” Splendour offered a specialty dining package for $105 pp to dine at all three restaurants—what a deal!

• All roads on Decks 4 to 8 lead to the Centrum, which has become the heart of the ship! By making a few “vertical tweaks” in design and programming (like installing floor-to-ceiling artistic light panels and dangling acrobats from the 8th floor, oh my!), Royal Caribbean transformed a typically ho-hum atrium lobby into a dynamic and visually stunning five-story hub of shipboard life. Day and night, Splendour’s Centrum was hopping with activities and entertainment ranging from napkin-folding demonstrations and Captain’s gatherings to easy-listening music, themed dance parties (their 70’s Village People act is a scream!) and astonishing aerialist performances. You can participate by turning up at the Compass-appointed time to claim a comfy lobby chair and order a cocktail made from scratch by the talented R Bar mixologist (his caipirinha rivaled my favorite Rio version!)—OR, you can simply join the fun as you happen upon it because no matter what deck you’re on or what you’re doing, the Centrum will engage your senses and draw you in!

 

The refurbished staterooms

The new décor is simple and smart, and everything is so fresh and clean—it was a delight to be among the first to occupy these staterooms! I admired the color palette for the new carpets, bedspreads, furniture upholstery and patterned sheer drapes—it was a handsome yet soothing mix of mostly turquoise on a neutral background with reddish-brown accents.

 

We had our first ever junior suite (8078, which is the last portside JS toward the aft of the ship) and truly appreciated the larger bathroom with tub, walk-in closet and extra “breathing room” in the main area of the cabin.

 

About those in-room iPads….

The iPads are aboard, but not in staterooms. They’ve encountered unexpected technical glitches! The most promising statement I heard was, they hope to solve all issues during the upcoming summer season in Europe.

 

All of the other renovations and new features

We didn’t have one of the 124 new cabins, our babies are now in college and this was our qualifying Diamond cruise…so I can’t report on improvements in those areas. But here are links to various RCI sources outlining all of the work done to revitalize the Splendour and capturing most of the end results in gorgeous photos and video:

 

Summary of Revitalization on the Royal Caribbean website

 

Pictures of the results from the Royal Caribbean Facebook

 

Revitalization movie from the Royal Caribbean blog

 

 

Hi, do you remember the name/nationality of the mixologist?

 

Sue :D

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Hi, Sue,

 

I can't recall his name, but I remember his tag said "United Kingdom" (no country designated). He was handsome :D and young (late 20's or early 30's maybe?!).

 

Hope that helps!

 

Oops, just saw you're from York. Do you know the lad?!

Edited by Artemis

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Hi, Sue,

 

I can't recall his name, but I remember his tag said "United Kingdom" (no country designated). He was handsome :D and young (late 20's or early 30's maybe?!).

 

Hope that helps!

 

Oops, just saw you're from York. Do you know the lad?!

 

Hi, yes my son Joe is a mixologist on the Splendour!! :D :D

He's 25, tall, dark and handsome!! :p

 

Sue :D

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