Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest Crazeecat5

Splendour of the Seas July 24th Review

Recommended Posts

Guest Crazeecat5

Just returned from the Splendour this past weekend, after anticipating this trip for many months. This was the first RCCL cruise for my DH and I. We have cruised Carnival 5 times before. I will try not to compare the 2 too much but will when necessary. I must start with the fact that we really enjoyed this trip. We started with a 2 night pre cruise in Barcelona.

 

Barcelona/Hotel - We had an uneventful flight from NY to Barcelona. Luckily, I slept most of the way. We were transferred to our hotel very quickly and comfortably. The Hotel Majestic was outstanding. It was a beautiful hotel in a great location. The breakfast buffet was superb. The air conditioning worked very well. I would highly recommend this hotel and if possible, a pre or post stay in Barcelona. It is a beautiful city. We used the hop on, hop off buses and we really were able to cover most of the city. Transfers to the port were also very well organized and reliable.

 

Embarkation - Very fast and efficient. Enough said.

 

Ship - The ship was very nice, for an 8 year old. It was kept immaculate, cleaners were always abound. The cabins were a bit small. We are used to Carnival's larger ones. However, we did get used to the size and didn't notice the difference much, except in storage space. We ould have used some more. The decor of the ship was nice. We did notice some wear and tear about. Honestly, aesthetics were not exactly my taste.

 

Staff - The staff of the Splendour were wonderful. We ate in the dining room 5 of the 7 nights. Our waiter and his assistant were pleasant and efficient. Our cabin steward (or stewardess?) Edna was terrific. She was always around when we wanted to see her. She was very personable and I wish to send her special kudos!

 

Food - Here is another area that Carnival has a better handle on than RCCl. The food on this ship was good. I can't say we had a bad meal, however, Carnival's food was much better. More choices, especially in the casual dining area. Taste and preparation are also better on Canival. I did enjoy the crab cakes on the Splendour quite a lot!

 

Excursions/Ports - We decided not to book an excursion for the first port of Marseilles since we just ran around Barcelona for 2 days and had a big week of excursions ahead of us. Big Mistake! We took the shuttle bus (20 euros roundtrip for 2) into Marseilles, thinking we would just wander about for a while. Unfortunately, it was Sunday and everything was closed. So, after a short while we just went back to the ship. We took the ship's excursions for Villefranche (Nice and St. Paul), Livorno (Florence on your Own) and Naples (Amalfi Drive, Naples and Sorrento). All were very well run and quite nice. The highlight of our whole trip was our day in Rome with our private driver.We used driverinrome.com and Aldo was our driver. From the moment he picked us up, I knew this was going to be a fabulous day. It surely was. We saw so much more than I ever imagined we could in one day. And never did we feel rushed. We spent as much time as we wanted at each site. Lunch was a very special treat when Aldo took us to a small restaurant where the locals eat. Excellent food and very reasonably priced. Please take my advice, when in Italy, use this company. You will never regret it!

 

Debarkation - Again, fast and easy. Transfers took us directly to the airport. We were dropped right in front of our terminal. However our flight was cancelled, due to a faulty back up battery.We were brought to a nice hotel in Barcelona, fed a lovely dinner and breakfast and then brought back to the airport for a pleasant flight home.

 

Overall, this was a wonderful trip. We had a terrific time and would do this trip again. Probably not on RCCL though, now that Carnival will be doing a 12 day starting next summer. Please feel free to ask any questions as I am sure I must have forgotten something.

Sheryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! Hoping you can answer some questions, having cruised Carnival so many times.

 

We are planning a Euro/Med cruise for next summer and the lines we canchoose from are: Celebrity (my favorite, and we get a 1-cat upgrade plus other beneifts due to Captain's Club features); Princess (we have a discounted deposit and on-board credit from previous cruise); RCL (we are A/C members), and now Carnival--and we have no experience with Carnival.

 

We will be bringing our 12 yr-old daughter (almost 13) with us and if she goes on Celebrity or Princess she will be relegated to the Kid's Club which will be too boring for her. RCL and Carnival offer the teens program for age 12 and up and that will keep her happy. So I think we are faced with choosing between those 2 lines.

 

My hesitation is with Carnival having such a "party" type reputation. Our family is VERY low-key, we spend a lot of time reading and doing trivia games and planning our trips to museums, etc. and we are generally in bed by 10 pm. Belly-flop constests and wet-T shirt shows are not our idea of a good time.

 

However, common sense tells me that the people who will be spending the time and money to get to Europe to do intensive cultural tours will not be the same type of "partying" people who might otherwise do a Carnival cruise.

 

With all your sailings on Carnival would you say the poor Carnival reputation is undeserved? and would you consider it for a Euro/Med cruise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Crazeecat5

Hi Kimanjo

I believe that Carnival gets a bad rap often. Yes, there have been some Caribbean cruises that have had a partying crowd. However, still there were those of us, like you who chose not to participate and still found plenty to do. I agree that the European/Med cruise is so port intensive that for most of us, there is little time to do much else. We are also early birds and on excursion nights, we were in bed by 11:00 PM. I can't say for certain how the Carnival Med cruise will be, especially since it will be a brand new area for them to explore. The final choice is up to you. If you use a private Travel Agent, maybe you should speak to him/her for more information. If you decide to go on Carnival, maybe I'll see you there next summer!

Sheryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done, Sheryl - we've all done our duty now - we can relax ! How are you fitting back into normal life ? Keep in touch - Isabel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review Sheryl from the heart!!

We've got time now to check out deals for next year - Carnival 20th July looks good, waiting for prices from TA for that one & what RCCl & Celebrity have on offer.

Will keep in touch...................Ted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review, thanks. You are the second person to mention a "bad" day in Marseilles. I would like to advise others who are taking this cruise to get off the ship, take the shuttle to town and then get to the top of the mountain to see "Notre Dame de la Guard" cathedral. It is worth the walk, although I heard there is also a tram. I really liked Marseilles and didn't spend much time looking for shops. The restaurants were open and the walk to the cathedral was great. What a view up there and great photo ops. It is a quaint town with a marina. Other did not like it, but they did not take the trip to the cathedral.

 

Anyway, I'm glad you had a good time. I really like the Splendour, especially the Atrium, although I didn't have much time on the ship with all the touring. We used http://www.sorrentolimo.com in Naples and thought Gennaro was a great driver. The Amalfi Drive is awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! We will be sailing 9-11. What made you chose a touring company over the ships excursions? We are leary to do so because of the langage barrier. Are the prices much better on private tours?

Also, we read a lot about dress codes, no shorts etc, was that a problem.

Thanks so very much, I know I am asking a lot of ?s.

Jeanne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Crazeecat5

Hi Jeanne,

We chose a private driver because of all of the good reviews we had heard on these boards. Go to Ports of Call-Europe and read up on all of the drivers. You will see how inviting they will be. It turned out to be the best day of our cruise. We just booked another European cruise for next summer and will be booking private drivers in 2 ports of call. The prices were a bit high but worth every penny! We had no problem with the language. Our driver, as do most, spoke perfect English.

The dress code was not too strict however, you can never wear shorts in the main dining room, except for the first night. Sometimes you might not have your luggage by then so they allow an extremely casual night.

Sheryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your quick reply! We are so excited and will look up the private tours. Did you have any problem with sleeveless tops touring? My daughter (25) is going with us and we are unsure of the dress code on tours. we have cruised many times, but never in Europe. Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

crazeecat5:

 

i am thinking of booking a private driver in rome as well. i am trying to decide between daniele's driverinrome.com or claudio's limoinrome.com. what made you choose driverinrome.com? were you the only party on your tour? or did you hook up with other groups to lessen the costs? if you can't find other parties, can they help you by putting you together with parties they currently have?

 

thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Crazeecat5

Hi Cruisinfool and Jstducky,

Let me start by saying we have taken 5 Carnival cruises (just booked our 6th) and the Splendour was our first RCL trip. We did it because Carnival was not going to Europe this year. In our opinion, Carnival is much better. The food and entertainment on RCL was OK. We really didn't have too much time for entertainment because we were up so early for excursions. Because of that, I really don't remember the Cruise Director's name. We didn't see him that much. There were no name entertainers there.

 

We chose Daniele because he had gotten so many wonderful reviews and my correspondence with him was prompt and informative. I did find a father and daughter to share the trip with us. Actually, they found me on my roll call thread. After many emails, we decided to take the driver together. It worked out wonderfully. They knew from the beginning that my DH and I had already been to Rome before and wanted to go to certain places. They were Ok with that. I know the private driver in France that I just booked for next August (Revelation tours - Michel) will find others for us if we want. Right now, it's just DH and I. I don't think I want him to find others for us but maybe I'll be able to find them myself.

I hope all of this is helpful to both of you.

Sheryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jstducky:

 

When are you sailing? My husband and I want to hire a private driver for Rome and possibly Livorno, but we would like to share the cost with others. We sail 10/30 on the Splendour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yemis... sorry if i gave the impression that i was going any time soon. i want to take brilliance next summer july 23. i haven't booked it yet. i'm just trying to do some research right now. hope you are able to find someone else to share with

 

crazeekat: how far in advance did you book with driverinrome.com?

 

thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Crazeecat5

Jstducky,

I think we booked Daniele @ driverinrome.com about 5 or 6 months before the trip. However, we just booked Carnival's Liberty for next Aug. 1st and I am booking Daniele for Aug.11th in Livorno within the next few days. We already booked Michel @ Revelation tours for Cannes on Aug. 10th. I say, it can never be too early to book a driver. As soon as you know for sure, do it.

Good luck!

Sheryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...