Cruise Ship: Splendour of the Seas
Cruise Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Cruise Dates: April 2009
Guest Contributor: Todd McGraith
This was my first cruise, and it was truly wonderful. All crew staff were very friendly and helpful, especially the Stateroom Supervisor (Marcus), the Stateroom attendant (Angelique) on deck 2 and the Chief Housekeeper. The food was exceptional and the Waiter, Assistant Waiter, and Head waiter in the King and I Dining Room were great. We had table 77 for the 6:30 pm sitting. The Entertainment Director and his staff were very helpful (especially Vicky) and the DJ Savio was Fantastic. Poolside attendants were also great especially Kalish.
We had booked Junior Suite for 2 adults and one child. The stateroom was adequate. There were plenty of drawers and wardrobes although the wardrobes were very dark inside and could do with an internal light. The bedding, carpets, sofa, and chairs were clean and fresh. The dressing table was large with plenty of mirrors and storage space, but they were looking rather tired. I can cope with that as long as everything is clean - which it was. We were on deck 8 and did get lots of noise from people walking above. We also had a couple of nights when high wind whistled through the balcony and made a huge racket keeping us all awake. However if we hadn't have had the balcony we would have missed the dolphins and a fantastic lightning storm and pouring rain on our last night. We could have got any other view from the deck above. When the rain came the public were told to go inside and not allowed back on deck until it had stopped.
The pool in the Solarium and outside were both salt water. There are two jacuzzis outside and 2 in the solarium. We used the gym, which although small had a good selection of equipment. For a charge of $10 you could do spin class, which was always busy. The pitch and put was well worn and bland but we still played. The rock climbing wall was busy at times, but the staff were very encouraging and didn't hurry anyone. The wall was open many times during the week and once a week they open it at night which was a totally different experience - great fun.
The entertainment was good in 42nd Street and the bands that played in the lounges and on deck were very good. My 15 year old son was rather bored as there wasn't really that much for him to do. I met some truly interesting people on the cruise and made a few friends. It was nice to see that the crew members were so multi-cultural and all the passengers. I can truly say I had a dream cruise and would recommend this Cruise to all my friends. Thank you all once again.
Shore excursions were available although quite expensive. For some of the port calls like Santorini and Kusadasi we booked private tours in advance. Contacted with local tour operators.
Splendour of the Seas Ports of Call
Venice, Italy: The highlight was Venice and I would advise anyone sailing from Venice to go out a couple of days early and have a good look around, it's wonderful.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: Dubrovnik is easy walking round the old town although the walk round the old city walls is worthwhile but quite energetic.
Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey: Our group of six toured Ephesus with a guide that Denizhan (www.transbalkan.com) had arranged. We had the best tour with him than in any of the other ports. The guide took many pictures of us with stunning views as backgrounds.
Santorini, Greece: We had a fabulous time on our tour in Santorini. Booked a private tour from Anna (www.santorinidaytours.com) Our guide took some great pictures and she did a terrific job in tailoring the tour around our needs while at the same time making sure we saw all the island's highlights. We truly enjoyed it.
Corfu, Greece : We took the Paleokastritsa and Corfu town tour which first took us to the resort area of Paleokastritsa where four busloads of tourists visited a small 12th century Greek Orthodox monastery. We saw the Greek Orthodox church of St. Spiridon in Corfu. People commented that Corfu didn't look like Greece. It doesn't have those old whitewashed buildings, and it has a strong Italian and French flavor. There is a picturesque old town and a great old fort jutting out into the sea.
In all the cruise was fine - a small, clean, if tired ship with friendly staff. There isn't much for teenagers to do so I wouldn't really recommend it for older families. You do feel the engine and movement on this ship.