CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Splendour of the Seas by Bill Grier Panama Canal January 26, 2004

(We are late 40's and have cruised 13 times, including HAL, Celebrity, NCL, and RCI.)

Embarkation was fast and smooth.

We had an inside cabin. Very small compared to other lines, but adequate even for the long itinerary and all our scuba gear. Cabin steward was excellent; room service was timely and room service food was good.

Ship was clean and well maintained. Lots to do onboard: good gym, rockwall, minigolf, lots of hottubs, nice sauna, etc. Solarium allows for hot tubbing & swimming regardless of weather. Fun dance lessons, games at the pool, and fitness reward program. Ship's crew provided excellent service all-around.

Passengers were great. All ages represented, although there were very few children. A good crowd; mostly from Texas and the south/midwest mainly; very friendly and accommodating to fellow passengers and crew. I'm going to start cruising more out of Texas for this reason alone. Food was good (not great) in both dining room and buffet. Not near as good as Celebrity or HAL, but overall tasty and well presented. Lots of selections and good dining service.

Entertainment was mediocre. Broadway group was average, singers were mediocre, magician was pretty good. Poolside band good. The Panama Canal schedule is fantastic. We zip-lined in Costa Rica (outstanding), cave-tubed in Belize (lots of fun), scuba dived in Cozumel and Georgetown (always great). We stayed onboard in Panama and enjoyed the transit.

Costa Maya was disappointing for me: if you are a diver: the "Blue Haven" dive shop was poor; do not dive with this bunch; overloaded boats, poor transport arrangements, too fast below the water. I wish I had followed my wife around while she shopped (she doesn't dive rough water) and smoked a cigar and sipped a cerveza fria! You WILL enjoy this ship and this itinerary. Small cabins and mediocre entertainment are more than offset by great service, good chow, and so much to do onboard and at the ports.

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