Spring Break! What the hell was I thinking? I began my cruise with the sight of what seemed to be the illusion that every child and teenager who had ever lived was on board the Splendor. I love kids, but not in my ears 24/7.
How wonderful it was to find many nooks and crannies, most notably my oceanview stateroom and the Adults Only section onboard, where my wife and I could read our novels and enjoy some tall, cool ones as well.
Okay, now, for the routine laundry list of specifics:
Embarkation was a snap. It took 75 minutes to get on board, but we had fun talking with people and hearing about their adventures and misadventures.
Cabin was comfortable and we slept very well at night. Shower is small but the showerhead is surprisingly vigorous. Our steward, Troy, was filled with personality and good spirit. The ocean view was just gorgeous; don't get an interior stateroom. Whatever it takes, get a balcony or ocenview stateroom.
On to the food...It varied greatly, but if one chooses something that is not flavorful, it is easy to go back in the buffet line or in the restaurant-style eating and get something else. As an example, one night I ordered the lobster and it was flavorless (flavorless lobster????) so I asked my server, Djaka, to bring prime rib. No problema! Within minutes, I had a new entree.
The specialty food services, such as Tandoor, Pizza, Deli, Mongolian stir-fry, etc. was fun, and although the quality ebbed and flowed, overall it was satisfying.
Beware if you have a sweet tooth; the desserts were always pretty tasty, but the sugar-free stuff was about as appetizing as cough syrup. Yuck! If you can tolerate insulin shock, go for the desserts with sugar and fat; they are delicioso.
Pinnacle Steakhouse was expesnive, but delightful. Got the filet mignon and I couldn't finish it because so much delicious food preceded it; it was done very nicely and the atmosphere up there was quite romantic.
Onboard entertainment was okay, but we didn't see many shows. Vrooooom!!! was fun for my wife and I, but everything else was pedestrian.
Catch the Piano Bar; the guy is funny, but crude. Had a blast there. (If 4-letter words offend you easily, you might want to pass that one up).
Cabo was amazing! The water was very different from the frigid California shoreline and my feet and legs felt very welcomed into the Sea of Cortez. Cabo By Land and Sea tour was fun, but may bore some. We liked it. Eat at The Office on Medano Beach; shrimp tacos were incredible with a bucket of Coronas.
Puerto Vallarta was beautiful, but the overcast weather put a damper on things (no pun intended). Rhythms of the Night was a wonderful, albeit pricey, shore excursion that we will never forget. Ask for Luis Sanchez at the Shore Excursion desk; great guy who will give you an honest assessment of the shore excursions.
Fitness facility...aye, there's the rub. My wife is a walker and did great taking care of her walking needs, but when I tried to find an open treadmill in the fitness center, it was like digging for gold in your backyard. Also, the spa and beauty people will be haunting you in your dreams; they keep trying to sell that stuff repeatedly.
Value for the money would have been great if we had not spent four times what we should have onboard and in Cabo, as well as PV. Set a limit first! (Don't do as I did; do as I say).
Yes, I booked Carnival because it was less expesnive than other options, but I wouldn't book with them again unless I expected to have another great time. Big, big thumbs up for Carnival Splendor.