Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by LoLoDash13
- Sail Date: December 2018
- Destination: Mexican Riviera
- Cabin Type: Balcony
We had Faster to the Fun so once off the hotel shuttle, our bags were taken by the baggage handlers (tipped $2.00 per bag) and placed in the priority section for baggage. We then walked to the Faster to the Fun line at the port entrance and literally were walking onto the ship in 5 to 7 minutes. That is through document processing and security. GET FTTF!
We carried on one bottle of wine and one 12 pack of soda in cans. There was just 2 of us, my 12-year-old daughter and myself. We ordered water for the room through the Carnival website and our 2 excursions prior to the cruise.
We walked on board and went straight to our room to drop our bags (another perk of FTTF). Then we went to get lunch. We went up the stairs above the buffet to find the BBQ area nearly empty, got lunch and sat down. We were on the SHIP!! YAY!
The service was incredible, although I did expect more from our room steward, I can't complain about his service. He did his job, just nothing more. Jose, Edwin, and Theodor in the Black Pearl MDR took care of us in ways I can't explain. Ever have a server grab your knife and cut your steak??? Well my daughter did! Just exceptional friendliness, dancing at "SHOWTIME", personal care, even sharing about their lives and how they remember our names???(when they change every week is a secret Carnival must teach)
My daughter was in Circle C (12 to 14 kids club) and immediately found a group of friends, really nice kids. I met most of them over the week. After dinner every night she left me to enjoy the ship and meet up with her friends. Always checking in via text thru the Carnival HUB App, I knew where she was. Sometimes staying with Circle C to do scavenger hunts and play games or attend shows and have snacks. Other times the kids would meet up at Circle C but then leave independently to go swimming or to the arcade, buffet or even just run around the ship on their own. I was ok with letting her go a bit & enjoy some independence, even though on land/at home this would never be possible. Kind of a beautiful thing when you think about it...that she was able to meet up with friends and have fun. I grew up doing that in the '70s at her age but today we can't let our kids out of our site. I loved that she was able to experiance independence on the ship.
We stayed in Cabin 1085 Deck 10. It can't get any better. Location was amazing. The balcony cabin is where it is at. I booked an interior 6th-floor cabin but was offered an upgrade about 2 weeks from sailing and I could not pass up the offer. I will forever be grateful to the upgrade fairy. Our cabin, the spacious cabin with couch, the view, the storage, was hands down more then I could have ever imagined. 5 stars to the cabin. If you can get this cabin--Book it!
I loved the open decks and walking down the deck of the ship late at night, against the wind, after dinner, to head back to the cabin. The open decks on the sides of the ship made me really embrace the cruising feel. I think new ships are losing this.
Without all the 2.0 upgrades Carnival Splendor has everything you need and retains a ships feel, not too hotely. Ill miss Splendor on the West Coast. She has a certain appeal that is getting lost in the newer ships.
Debarkation was again seamless, as we had Faster To The Fun. We were sent our luggage tags and instructions the night before. Set the luggage out about 10pm the night before. Day of, we went to the Black Pearl dining room per our instructions, and sat among the Diamond/Platinum folks until they called us and we walked right off to waiting luggage in side the port.
Embarkation & Debarkation literally took minutes, no lines, no fuss, no extra work. FTTF is the way to go!
The entertainment was great (singers in the shows blew my mind, especially Mark who carried the entire Piano Man show!), the Fun Staff was good. The Cruise Director, Lee, was good, but did seem tired & somewhat distracted-I heard this from others as well, without prompting. Understandable, what an amazing amount of personal energy it takes to be the cruise director. I'm not mad at Lee, he did an outstanding job & I would be happy to cruise with him again. I am open to experiencing other cruise directors now though.
Carnival Splendor was my first cruise and I am so glad she was. Ships REALLY are floating hotels...but all these newer ships & mega ships are so much so, you forget the sea is right outside. The Carnival Splendor ALWAYS has a door or window to why we cruise, THE OCEAN! The Italian design and somewhat over the top decor makes her just that much more beautiful and intiguing.
We cruised 7 nights Christmas week 2018 and loved every single minute of the cruise.
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