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Ken Ballard

Age: 34


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Splendour of the Seas

Sailing Date: November 30th, 2006

Itinerary: Mexico

Intro: This is our third cruise, 2nd with RCI, and 2nd on Splendour of the Sea. I’ll give brief daily synopsis as having a 2 year old limited our activities. At the end a few category items.

Pre Boarding: We stayed the night at the local Holiday Inn, with a 2 and 4 year old we did not want restless little ones while boarding the ship. So we came a day early and this was money well spent. 100 bucks and we parked at the hotel. They shuttled us to the ship and back. This was the most effortless way we have sailed. Well worth getting there a day early and leaving the car at the hotel.

Boarding: Our shuttle left the hotel at 11:30am. We had a 5pm sailing but the ship was ready to receive passengers at 11am. Check-in took all of 20 minutes. We roamed the ship and had lunch on board in the Windjammer. I don’t remember specifically what we had but it was good. Our rooms were ready around 1pm.

NOTE: The Windjammer looks to have been fully renovated as all the buffet lines were new and repositioned. It was a much more efficient process to get through the lines and all the food for the entire cruise was always hot.

Sail-away (Evening 1) We ate in the windjammer for dinner as well. With the pickiness of a 2 and 4 year old, this works well. I had the Chicken Cordon Bleu and it was very tasty. With children we basically skipped all the shows for the week, sorry.

Day 2: Sea Day: We were able to get our 4 year old plugged into Adventure Ocean and she had a blast for the rest of the cruise. They had activities from arts and crafts, to science experiments. If you have a 2 year old, you may want to leave them home until they are 3 and potty trained. Otherwise this greatly alters your cruise experience. It was just far easier to skip all adult activities than to try and schedule onboard sitters 24 hours in advance. I did get the chance to play a round of miniature golf with my nephew on deck 10, a pretty good time.

Day 3 Cozumel: Typical Cozumel. We skipped booking an excursion. We got a cab for 13 bucks, went to paradise beach. Had drinks and fed 4 adults and 4 kids snacks for 60 bucks. Taxi back to the pier another 13 bucks for 4 people. Shopped around for a few hours. Had lunch at Ponchos Back Yard, do not miss this place, and get the tamales. Shopped some more. Note: The ship had to anchor and use tender boats, this always sucks, no reflection of the cruise line, using tender boats just stinks.

Day 4 at sea: Again, having a pre 3 year old, limits your activities. We spent the day roaming the ship, playing video games, reading, and eating.

Leaving the movies because you will wait. Just don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere and you won’t be frustrated. We were off 10 minutes before our scheduled time but it was still 10:20 before we saw customs/immigration. This was smooth and we were processed in about 5 minutes. I recommend when you leave your room, go have some breakfast in one of the dinning areas. Because you have to leave your room at 7am. If you are on deck 2 this means you are last off the ship, usually around 9:30, so find some place comfy to sit.

Food: You can find something to eat. I prefer the windjammer because I don’t care for the formality of dining room service. I like to grab my food and go. After 2 trips on Splendour, I have found all the food I have tried to be good to excellent.

Entertainment: While we did not go to any of the shows, the past cruise was pretty good as far as the shows go in the 42nd street Theater.

Overall: I just like the Splendour Of The Seas, she is a good sized ship for us. Not so big that we get lost and not too small that she moves all over the place while sailing. Good food, Good service, Good time…..

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