Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Beamafar

Everything’s Going Splendidly on Splendida - Dubai-Yokohama 2018

Recommended Posts

Ten days out from our flight of Friday, 30th March, the weather forecast was bleak, with snow and ice threatened. There had been severe disruption in previous weeks caused by similar conditions (as reported on the forum at the time by CruisingFox and KerryinCork, whose travel plans had suffered). Fortunately for us, the threat receded, and, while it was still very cold, it didn’t snow, so our flight wasn’t delayed.

 

We had upgraded to Business Class when offered a very attractive reduced price. However, the T&Cs indicated no priority check-in or boarding, so I joined the (long) queue for economy passengers and DH went across to the Business Class desk to ask it we could check-in there. The clerk checked our names on the system and said “Yes, sir, you are in Business Class so of course you can”.

 

For CruisingFox - I chanced bringing a handbag that would hold my iPad as well as phone, purse, etc. The clerk didn’t even tag our hand-luggage (I saw many others had theirs tagged). So no problems, though I don’t know if that was because of the upgrade?

 

The service in Business Class was excellent and really set us up for our YC experience. Although the seats were lie-flat, they weren’t very comfortable, but we did manage to get a few hours sleep before touching down on time at 8.30am local time.

 

We were given FastTrack passes for immigration and, just after we got to the FastTrack lane, one of the airport staff lifted one of the rope barriers to allow others from the regular queues to use the lane to take the pressure off the area. Fortunately, we had entered the lane ahead of this. Otherwise, our ‘FastTrack’ passes would have been rendered redundant! Anyway, we made it through within 5 minutes (last year it took over half an hour to pass through!) and we were out of the terminal and into a taxi by 9.30am. However, it took almost an hour to get to the port due to very heavy traffic. The taxi fare came out at 68.50 Dirhams.

 

We had about a half-hour wait in the terminal (for no apparent reason, other than they were waiting for more people to arrive - there were 5, including the 2 of us, at that point). We were given our cruisecards, but there was a problem with another couple’s, which meant we would have to wait ‘til that was sorted, so I approached a butler and indicated that we intended to go aboard at this point and not wait for an escort! So another butler said that he had to go onboard then,anyway, so he would escort us. Otherwise, I think we would have been delayed even further. It was 10.50am now and our cabin was ready so we dropped off our hand-luggage and headed to the Top Sail Lounge for a drink before lunch.

 

I won’t be posting the daily menus or planners, nor photos of all the meals we have, but I’ll share our first day’s lunch menu and the mains we ordered in the next post as they were delicious! I was very surprised to see filet mignon on for lunch!

 

ETA. Having problems with internet connection on my phone, so no photos, just yet!

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Edited by Beamafar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here goes:

 

f1d22cc0d7aee032fc4431573471efde.jpg

 

2991fb4ab0bcf73388db39721e0ef6d5.jpg

 

307e9b178fd3205850d7386aad77d372.jpg

 

DH had the Dover sole fillets:

 

184a5845de2b2d679974ad009b717fff.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely to hear from you Bea, and glad all is well :)

 

Looking forward to more as you go along :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Delighted to hear that you (and the handbag) arrived wiithout incident or delay and that all is going well.

 

I noticed yesterday a number of 7 to 17 night options to join your sailing in various ports and tried to persuade DH to book but unfortunately he couldn't be convinced, something about we've only just disembarked :confused::(

 

Hope you continue to have a fabulous time :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you arrived without hassle or delay and are enjoying your first few days on board. Lunch looks yummy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone.

 

CF ... what a shame! I’ve heard, alright, that some are only going as far as Sri Lanka or Singapore. I’m not sure if they will be embarkation ports, also? There are certainly a lot of people onboard. YC seems full - or almost, anyway. There are queues forming by 8.15pm for tables in L’Olivo, causing headaches for the asst m’D!

 

Two burning issues with Seaside that I’ll address here regarding Splendida:

 

1. Butter ... yes, we have butter (though, being pedantic, it’s not REAL butter because it’s been adulterated with something other than salt; ie, vegetable oil, to make it spreadable).

 

ead7d1bc9f8921516765b3d9e549df1d.jpg

 

2. Smell ... I’ve experienced a bit of a whiff in our bathroom a couple of times while we’ve been in port (blame cannot be ascribed to DH as he hasn’t had a pint of this stuff since we left Dublin airport. Mark, that’s what a good pint should look like!)

 

4a0d3fb5d492bff0efbae52ac436aaff.jpg

 

Fortunately, a solution had been proferred on one of the ‘Smell’ threads, so, each time, I’ve poured a couple of glasses of water into the drain on the floor, which seems to have solved the issue.

 

Speaking of ports; we didn’t get off in Dubai.

 

In Abu Dhabi port, there are free shuttle buses to a couple of malls - Abu Dhabi and World Trade Centre. We opted to go to the latter. While it is a very nice mall, it’s more suited for locals to shop in. The cruise terminal has several shops, too, and prices were very fair.

 

Yesterday, we did a ship’s excursion which was a “Panoramic tour of Muscat”. It didn’t quite go according to plan. The route was reversed (without being told). We went first to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, where we had to “rent” abayas for E5 from some guy who had them stored in his car. Having sorted ourselves out, our guide then said “Sorry, I made a mistake. We do not go in the mosque on this tour - it is external buildings tour only”. We had 40 minutes to kill wandering around outside!

 

We also went to the Opera House which houses a (very luxurious) shopping gallery - we went in just to enjoy the air-conditioning inside; temperatures have been in the high 30s since arriving in Dubai! Again, we could not enter the Opera House, itself.

 

Next up, was the souk, which I thoroughly enjoyed visiting. No need to have Omani Rial here; they accept all major currencies and give a very fair exchange rate.

 

We were supposed to finish the tour with a visit to Al Alam Palace. However, that got cancelled (without explanation) so we were driven up the mountains for a panoramic view of Muscat (which was fantastic, but only those of us on the left-hand side of the bus got to enjoy it!). We then drove back down to visit the Ministry of Finance, instead, where dignitaries from visiting countries are entertained.

 

Despite the tour’s disorganisation, we had a wonderful time; the tour guide was a 21 year-old tourism student and she was very entertaining. Overall, I thought Muscat was a great POC.

 

Tomorrow, I will expand some more on the onboard experience, so far. Tonight we do something I’ve never experienced before: we put our watches forward by half an hour!

 

Formula ... If you're following this: I read a post of yours on another thread a few days ago asking me a couple of questions. I remember one was about demographics onboard. I can't find it now so If you post them on here, I'll try and get some answers for you.

Edited by Beamafar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bea ... We did a private tour of Muscat in a mini bus from outside of the port with 4 of our other table mates two of whom were Clive and his wife, the driver was a nice guy who took us to many of the places you saw plus the Royal Palace and one of the Big hotels. We had a great day there, one of the other ports we went to in Muscat we took a taxi with Clive and his wife and found a huge beach with no one on it lined on the main road by what appeared to be bombed out buildings!

A guy turned up in his car with one of those large empty water bottles they have in offices, walked down to the sea and began filling it up, Clive being ex police turned to the three of us and said hey that man is stealing the sea ! ... :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a wonderful cruise Bea. We just disembarked from the Divina after 20 days of a rough transatlantic crossing with lots of cold rain and wind. Thankfully the Top Sail was our little haven. I'd be curious to hear about some of the YC staff on your cruise: Who is the Chief Butler for one, and the Maitre in L'Olivo? We've gotten to know so many of the YC personnel over the years every time we embark on a new cruise there are always those who remember us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bea, so glad you’re having a wonderful time in the sun.

That pint looks amazing I was thinking about you and your husband Saturday. Jane asked what I had planned for the 3 ports in Ireland next year. The look on her face was priceless when I said I had looked up on TA the number 1 pub for the first 2 ports and a Guinness tour for Dublin

Talking of Splendida when we were on board there was a real character behind the bar in the cocktail bar. The one outside the MDR overlooking the atrium. He persuaded me to try some sort of martini that was bright blue with little flavour pods in the bottom. It tasted like Diesel. Thankfully when he saw my face he had already prepared a limoncello and a pint of Heineken. Everyone thought it was hilarious.

Jane has just gone pale when I said about the half hour time difference it’s the OCD!

Have a wonderful time and take care of yourselves

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark ... I may be able to sort you out re the Guinness Hop Store. Will discuss further when I get home.

 

Charles ... I haven't managed to get the head butler's name, yet. Vincenzo is asst m'D and Mauricio is the sommelier. Giovanni Caso is the ship's m'D (we know him from both Divina and Magnifica). There's a "Private Cocktail Party" in TSL at 5pm this evening so I will, for sure, find out who the head butler is then.

 

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bea, glad that all is well :)

 

Can I ask when muster drill was? I’m trying to plan my time in Dubai and was hoping to do something on the Saturday evening, assuming that muster was on the Sunday before departure.

 

Thank you :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bea and thank's for the updates and menus from the MSC Splendida :) I'm glad everything is great and that you are enjoying your cruise. BTW, I can see that they are offering Norwegian Salmon onboard;);).

 

So nice with the upgrade to Business Class on Emirates, that's quite a different experience than Economy Class.

Muscat is lovely. We where there on the RCI Radiance Of The Seas back in 2012 on a overnight stay and did exactly the same tour as you did, "Panoramic Tour of Muscat".

 

Have a great cruise on the beautiful Splendida. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting! I am glad you are enjoying it. We will be onboard the MSC Preziosa from Santos to Kiel in a couple of days and I will also be doing a live thread.

We have been in Oman with another cruise line and also enjoyed our visit to Muskat.

Ivi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be amazing Bea thank you.

I’ve been watching the webcam the seas look calm and very sunny on deck

Please don’t show DH my live picture below

97978ae7bd900de131a25580085bdcf6.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark ... are you drinking that straight from the can????

 

Charles ... the head butler is Rajiv from Mauritius.

 

Darcy ... muster drill was on Sunday evening at 7.30pm, so you will indeed be able to enjoy Saturday without worrying about getting back. I’ve asked the Concierge if she knows about any plans to offer Yokohama excursions for those*with later flights on embarkation day. She said that they did do something when Lirica arrived in China and that there have been others enquiring, so she thinks they may arrange something. I’m expecting that, if they do, it’ll be pricey. Other Yokohama*excursions are. I’ll report back when I know more.

 

TravelBerlin - hope you have a wonderful cruise on Preziosa.

 

NC - Hi! You were right about there being an armchair in the cabin. I was going to ask the butler to remove it as it takes up a bit of space, but I’ve found it useful for sitting at the open balcony door and sunning my legs when I’ve had too much of the heat out on the balcony. Also, yes, Norwegian salmon is being served (and I'm doing my best to diminish the ship's stocks!) But I think it's always Norwegian on the ships- no?

 

Speaking of the cabin - we were very fortunate to get one of the square ones. The mirror has indeed been replaced with a large, oriental-inspired picture. This doesn’t have too much of an impact, but I imagine in the narrower*cabins, where, normally, the mirror effectively doubles the space at the end of the bed, it would.

 

ce264c1dbc43953ba0e3638312722123.jpg

 

9188b2399f5a9dfb96a492eeb066bb3e.jpg

 

 

We opted to get the laundry package of 40 items for E50. We confirmed with our butler that we could, indeed, have items for ironing included. So far, we’ve sent for ironing 10 of DH’s shirts and 1 pair of trousers, as well as*a blouse and 1 pair of trousers for me. If we’d paid the individual prices for ironing, we would already have a bill of over E43!

 

We’ve also chosen the Standard internet package and, so far, we’ve had good connections, despite the fact that it has been advised that the service may be diminished when at sea.

 

b58293c009e9fb4283c08bd38070a70c.jpg

 

 

The ship is in lovely condition. It appears that carpets were replaced when last in dry-dock. The main “enhancements” seem to be the wine bar being set-up to transform into a Dim Sum bar when the ship begins her season*in China, as well as Tex-Mex being replaced with Butcher’s Cut and introduction of Sea Pavilion, the Oriental Hot Pot Speciality restaurant on deck 16 (Fair play, CF, for getting the photo of the menu. We went up to have a look on one of first days and I didn’t manage to spot it!)

 

The interactive screens are all in place for when the MSC for Me app is up and running. They’re being used at the moment to provide information but mainly advising drinks package prices.

 

We’ve had a couple of “interesting” experiences so far, regarding the restaurant. The first had to do with the dinner menu on one of the first nights. It so happened that we checked the menu in the TSL to see what was on offer*before heading off to the other end of the ship to dine and saw that the Tex-Mex dish was on. Now, we’re fans of this ‘mixed grill’ so we headed off in anticipation of an enjoyable meal. However, when we sat down and were handed the menu, it was totallydifferent, and was actually a Greek-inspired one. Not seeing anything that appealed, we decided to leave and go to the buffet. Vincenzo (asst m’D) asked what the problem was. We explained and he said “There is no Tex-Mex onboard now” to which we repliedthat we knew that but that the item from Tex-Mex menu was showing on the menu in the TSL. Fortunately, I had taken a photo so I was able to prove the point as he was insistent about it. He was very cross that they had the wrong menu in TSL which caused us*to go all the way to the restaurant to dine and insisted on getting us anything we wanted within his power to have the chef prepare. He stressed it was his job to ensure that we were looked after, so, we relented and asked for steaks. He thanked us when*we were leaving for giving him the opportunity to sort it. Anyway, we went to dinner a couple of nights ago, not knowing what was on the menu. To our surprise, the Tex-Mex mixed grill was on. So we had a very enjoyable meal that night!

 

Another restaurant issue - on the first night I asked for my favourite red wine - Cicogna. The waiter went away, then came back and said sorry, but the sommelier selects 2 bottles each night and that Cicogna wasn’t on that night,*but will appear some time during the cruise. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with this situation. There are only certain wines I can drink and I’ve always limited myself to that or Regale Toscana when we have the deluxe drinks package.

 

I decided that, as we pass the wine bar on the way to L’Olivo every evening, I would just pick up a glass (or two) of my choice of wine to take to dinner. So, the next night, I did just that (though I decided to try a couple of*glasses of Barolo instead - which ended up making me very ill that night!)

 

Anyway, the next night I just got the one glass of Cicogna and, when we sat down, I asked our asst waitress to transfer it into one of the nicer YC glasses, so she took it out to the service area to do this. The sommelier approached*me and asked why I was bringing wine to YC and where was I getting it. I told him and explained that I didn’t want to be confined to what was on offer every evening and that I could get my 2 red wine choices in the wine bar. He said “But we have these wines*here” to which I replied “But they aren’t always available”. He responded “For you, they will be!” He beckoned our waiter over and told him that I was to have those wines whenever! I had made my point!

 

Speaking of the restaurant, from 2 nights that I’ve seen the MDR menus, it appears that the menus in YC are exactly the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just stumbled upon the thread....no I have not been drinking...lol.....thought I would check out the old MSC threat and see what was up.....and found "Bemafar".....and thoughts on the cruise.....we are seriously thinking of doing this cruise in 2019 as is available for a deposit now.....so will read with anticipation.....easy for us to fly over as Emirates flies from Seattle which we have a direct flight to from where we live in Canada......my plan ....get off the ship in Tokyo...spend a night then grab another one over to Vancouver.....Hal or Celebrity do it every year in the Spring....only have to fly one way over.....neat........now try to talk my wife Judy to do it....ha ha....I see some of the "old" names from our other cruises on MSC....will be lurking.....Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ken,

 

It's a wonderful itinerary and the sea days are nicely spaced between the POCs. If there's anything in particular you want to know, just ask and I'll answer if I can.

 

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Another restaurant issue - on the first night I asked for my favourite red wine - Cicogna. The waiter went away, then came back and said sorry, but the sommelier selects 2 bottles each night and that Cicogna wasn’t on that night,*but will appear some time during the cruise. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with this situation. There are only certain wines I can drink and I’ve always limited myself to that or Regale Toscana when we have the deluxe drinks package.

 

I decided that, as we pass the wine bar on the way to L’Olivo every evening, I would just pick up a glass (or two) of my choice of wine to take to dinner. So, the next night, I did just that (though I decided to try a couple of*glasses of Barolo instead - which ended up making me very ill that night!)

 

Anyway, the next night I just got the one glass of Cicogna and, when we sat down, I asked our asst waitress to transfer it into one of the nicer YC glasses, so she took it out to the service area to do this. The sommelier approached*me and asked why I was bringing wine to YC and where was I getting it. I told him and explained that I didn’t want to be confined to what was on offer every evening and that I could get my 2 red wine choices in the wine bar. He said “But we have these wines*here” to which I replied “But they aren’t always available”. He responded “For you, they will be!” He beckoned our waiter over and told him that I was to have those wines whenever! I had made my point!

 

 

This was interesting.

 

Do you say that the waiter couldn't give you wine which was on the menu but the sommelier said that YOU could have it?

 

Was it some kind of missunderstanding from the waiter which led to a NO the first time or did the sommelier made an exception for you (maybe you know him)?

 

I'm easy to please but I should not be very happy if they said no to a wine in the menu because the sommelier had made other choices for that night. I could understand it if it was an expensive high end wine but that's not what's included.

 

Have you had the time to drink some Champagne for me? :champagne-toast:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi SC ... We hadn't been given a wine menu. When I asked for the red I wanted on the first night, the waiter went off, came back and informed me that the wines on offer would change each evening. I got the impression that this came from the sommelier and I was less than pleased to hear it. I explained that I usually get the premium package so I can have my favourite wines, but it didn't seem to matter so I made a point by bringing wine from the wine bar to drive home the message - which the sommelier picked up on!

 

You know, I haven't had a glass of champagne - yet! - but I will have one tonight in your honour and lament the fact that I will not be sharing a glass (or two!) with you next year on Divina.

 

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the information Bea :)

 

Sounds like you’re having a good time despite the few hitches in the restaurant......and I’m glad that these were sorted for you :)

 

Look after the YC for me .......this time next year will be my turn :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance w/ Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com June 2020
      • New Cruisers
      • 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

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...