18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Last minute decision to book this cruise as it was a bargain not to miss - included Emirates flight. Have only travelled with RCI once before, usually go with P and O. Flight and transfer good. Arrived around 7.30am so we were ... Read More
Last minute decision to book this cruise as it was a bargain not to miss - included Emirates flight. Have only travelled with RCI once before, usually go with P and O. Flight and transfer good. Arrived around 7.30am so we were transferred to a hotel for breakfast, then boarded ship around 11am, allowed into cabins around 1pm. First impressions on exterior of ship we thought it looked a bit 'tired' i.e. deck/sun beds etc. Didnt spoil our holiday though, interior was OK ...cabin a bit small but not a problem. Unfortunately no cabins in centre of ship available so we had to have one at the rear of the ship. Drinks VERY EXPENSIVE, i.e. small Chardonnay 8 USD PLUS 18 per cent service charge, Proscecco 10 Dollars plus service charge, practically all lager was bottled around 5 USD. Evian water 6 USD - disgraceful!! My partner forgot his Bow Tie so hired one for the evening 8 USD....!! Of course no chance of buying alcohol on shore so we drank very little during the week. On deck/Windjammer buffet area there is tea, coffee, water, flavoured waters available free of charge, also ice cream. There is no kettle in stateroom but another passenger mentioned you could ask for one to be delivered to the room. Food in general OK but nothing special....more in keeping with an average 3 star hotel. Staff everywhere VERY pleasant and willing to please. Found the constant 'plugging' of their excursions, trying to persuade us to buy wine, spa etc quite annoying, in fact we hadn't even boarded the ship when we were accosted. Personally prefer P and O overall but can't complain as it was very good value for money. Tip: take a wide neck plastic bottle to fill from the water fountain if you don't want to keep buying cold drinks. They don't 'advertise" the fact that Shuttle Buses are available as they want you to purchase excursions. in Dubai there are shuttles provided by a couple of Malls, Abu Dhabi - ships shuttle to a Mall in City, we then took a taxi to Mosque, Emirates Palace etc 3 hour trip for 6 persons was around £20 per person. Muscat you can walk to the Souk and/or walk along the Corniche FOC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. ... Read More
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. The Stateroom was a little jaded as were some of the public areas. Having said that the service was excellent as was the food. The entertainment was just about OK but the speakers, who gave briefings on the destinations, need to be changed or given training in public speaking. The facts may have been interesting but the delivery was flat, monotone and dull. This seemed to suit many in the audience who soon fell into a restful sleep. The deck pool and wirlpools were fine but on sea days you had to be up early to get a sunbed and up very early to get one in full sunlight. The staff did try and impose the rule that "a sunbed could not be reserved (with a towl etc.) for more than half an hour" but they were fighting an uphill battle. There was also an indoor pool that was actually better for swimming. We mainly judge by comparison which is why this ship doesn’t score to highly. But is this was the first time that I had stepped onto a cruise ship I would have been very impressed. Especially considering the price we paid. Return BA flights from Heathrow, seven night’s full board accommodation with more food than anyone could eat with visits to some interesting and exotic locations and all this for just seven hundred quid. The only question is “how do they do it?” Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin ... Read More
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin immediately. I was surprised as before with MSC or Royal Caribbean we had to wait for a while. Cabin not big but very comfortable and well organised. So we 2 adult and kid with 3 big languages felt of. I expected all bad from Costa as I read lots of negative reviews, and choose that cruise only of ports of call. And I was surprised in good way. Very good food at 11 deck restaurant. Very good bar service there. We went few times to 5 deck resturant but i was disappointed - too many time to wait dinner some days took near 3 hours. So we stopped to go there and visited only 11 floor. Food was same but more variety, better service and smiling su- chef Edgar always recommend what is better to try. Our kid is very bad in eating - there he ate all without any problem. Yes you can not have coffee or tea at lunch or dinner, but it's not very useful in the evening and was avaliable 4- 5 p. All staff was very friendly, smiling, saying hello and bye. Ready to help. Even busy managers played with my son and you feel like big friendly family all around. Quality of drinks very good, we ordered some cocktails sometime in the evening. We're served very quickly. Thank you Jose ))) I took cappuccino ever morning at pool bar - when it opened, and it was delicious - love illy. Thank you bar staff - still remember sun raise ))) I like animation team. Every morning - gymnastic, games, tournaments. We participated in most of activities and have great fun. Shows were good. Not the best I see, but not bad. Some of them are very nice. Even my son participate in one with muppets. Till today he is reminding that and laughing. Few times we went to disco and dance. But they were just few people there, so not too funny. Very clean everywhere. I made gymnastic very early and see how pool boys clean all. Same in the cabin, and all over the ship. Good music in bars. Only dancers from Grand bar were not very friendly, like doing hard boring job (only one minuse). And main- we have late flight in the evening and they let us stay!!!! Till 11.30 p.m. and that is great. As be very hard to stay so long in airport. And lots of people departure late. So main- I was ready for average cruise according review I read. But it was amazing. Friendly staff, good service, tasty food, fun animation team, not bad shows. Good music, bars and restaurant. It was amazing cruise, with very interesting ports of call. And I will try with Costa other cruises. Read Less

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