Because my personal version of hell is the lido deck on a typical Carnival Cruise (a Justin Beiber concert movie on the big screen, unattended kids running everywhere and monopolizing the hot tubs, people with overloaded plates competing for scarce lounge chairs, etc.) after becoming empty nesters my wife and I thought we were done with Carnival. The Spa decks on some of their newer ships have caused us to reconsider that decision. We tried a Spa cabin on The Carnival Dream last summer thought it was wonderful so we thought we would try another on The Carnival Splendor. We had another great time. Some highlights of our trip:
Prior to the cruise we drove to Long Beach the night before and stayed at the Best Western Golden Sail. They have a package where you get a room, breakfast and get to park your car for a week for abound $150. They have a cab pick you up from the hotel and give you a voucher for the cab ride back after the cruise. The rooms are old and need updating but they are clean and comfortable. The fact that the cabs pick you up right outside the cruise terminal makes this very convenient.
We found the Spa Cabins and the Spa to be similar to what we found on The Dream. The Spa Cabins give you full use of the Spa Whirlpool and several steam room, heated stone bed rooms and such. We found it quite relaxing. We used the spa every day of the cruise. One disappointment was the Serenity deck area on the Splendor is not nearly as nice it is on the Dream. It is small and the drone of air conditioning units is overpowering over much of the area. There are no covered lounge chairs. It was OK, got us away from the madness and chaos on the lido deck, but was disappointing after experiencing how wonderful the Serenity Deck was on the Dream. All that said we enjoyed the room and the accommodations over all and would do it again in a heartbeat.
The food was fine. Some nights were better the others. The service was great. Loved anytime dining. We did not try the steakhouse.
I'm convinced the casino is rigged. We are not big gamblers but everything we tried we lost big.
One day in Cabo we took a water taxi to Medano beach we had lunch and used the lounge chairs at Tabasco's Bar. It was ok we enjoyed it but would not go back. The next day we took an early tender on went shopping. Got some good deals and had lunch. A little while after we got in to Cabo the seas got rough and they suspended tender service. About have the people that wanted to go into Cobo were unable to get off the ship. After a delay they did resume the tender service for the folks on shore that needed to go back. We enjoyed our time in Cabo but the street merchants and little kids asking us to by Chiclets both on the beach and in town got to be a bit much, I understand people need to make a living but the situation in Cobo is a bit out of control.
In Puerto Vallarta we went the ship excursion to the Las Calentas beach hideaway. Nice beach and nice lunch. We had done this excursion once before and enjoyed it every bit as much this time. Highly recommended.
Did not do bingo are any of the other on board activities.
The entertainment was really good. All four of the comedians were extremely funny. We enjoyed the Mexican musicians and dancers they had come on board in Puerto Vallarta, and we became fans of an acoustic singer they had on board Tommy Green Jr. He did old favorites along with some songs he wrote. Tried to sit through one of the big production shows we left as it was embarrassingly awful.
Sat through a "free" body detoxification seminar made a follow up appointment were they tried to sell us a $4200 treatment program. I should have known better.
In summary we wanted a relaxing week with some fun sprinkled in and that is exactly what we got. We would do it again and recommend the cruise to anyone who asked.