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Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by EricaLovesCats

Home > Reviews > Member Reviews > Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by EricaLovesCats
Carnival Splendor
Carnival Splendor
Member Name: EricaLovesCats
Cruise Date: July 2012
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Cabin Category: 8D
Cabin Number: 7340
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Carnival Splendor Cruise Reviews | Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews | Carnival Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Carnival Splendor Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Splendor Deck Plans
Carnival Splendor Review July 22 - 29, 2012
Background: Two 30 year olds (husband and wife) from Anchorage, Alaska. First time taking a vacation without our 2 year old (missed her like crazy). This is also a good review to read if you are on the short side. I am 4'11 and was concerned with a few of the activities we had planned, but all turned out well.

Day 1 Boarding: We took Super Shuttle from our hotel (La Quinta LAX) to the port. It was $50 for both of us...I guess that would be cheaper than a taxi but if I am sharing with others all going the same direction then I think it should be a tad cheaper. But I digress. We got there about 1045. In my opinion the porters and general organization was A LOT better here than it was in Miami (we have cruised 3 times from there). Boarded around 1145. Enjoyed lunch on Lido and just walked around. Did the spa tour so we could go ahead and get a couple's week pass to their Thassotherpy (sp?) pool and heat rooms. We heard they only gave out so many so we wanted to make sure we got one. We also booked a couple of appointments for facials and massages. We don't normally "splurge" on stuff like that, but like I said it was our first time alone together in 2 years and we thought we'd go all out. Did muster drill, walked around more, got in our room (our first balcony, we always did interior before), yada yada. We had Any Time Dining (which I loved). Did not do the show, I usually think those first night shows are boring.

Day 2 at Sea: We both had facials at 0915. Yep, I talked my husband into one. He was nervous at first, but later said "it wasn't bad" lol. He said he enjoyed the old fashion shave part. The guy took his time and his face was actually the smoothest and least red I have ever seen. I thought the woman doing mine was very friendly and funny and she did a great job. She didn't try and hard sell me anything. At the end she did hand me a card with the list of items she used on me and said if I was interested in anything I could let her know anytime this week. I don't consider that a hard sell at all, just something that she had to do. Right after we used our passes and spent an hour in the T pool, steam rooms, and heated chair rooms.

Later in the day we hit the casino. We were at the black jack tables with a stone faced dealer at first, but then they did their change out and the friendliest guy came over and was working our table (Joseph from Philippines). He makes jokes and is smiling and even if you are losing you are somehow having a good time, lol. He asked our names and remembered us all week long.

After dinner we went to the Punchliner Comedy Club. His name escapes me at the moment, but he was very funny. The opener and club manager Matt is also pretty funny.

This was the first formal night too.

Day 3 at Cabo: Since we did not have a planned shore excursion, we decided to let the masses leave first before we tendered off. We ended up not getting off till 1030! We got to the pier and people aren't kidding when they say you become bombarded by people trying to sell you tours. We just pick a random guy and took a water taxi to Medino Beach. We got there and it was...horrible. We sat down on our towels and literally every 5 seconds we had to say "no thank you" to people selling stuff. I get it, I know they are trying to make a living, but just be prepared. This is not a "relaxing" beach. We got up and paid for parasailing and off we went for that. That was kinda weird too, as you have to hop back up in one boat (this is where being short was kinda tough) and then out in the water you would hop from that boat into another for the parasailing. My husband actually cut his knee doing this. But, the actual parasailing was a blast. I had never done it before and was surprised at how peaceful it is. The boat below is going fast, but you are just gliding softly. After that we went back to the beach. My husband went jet skiing while I tried to read a book on my towel. And saying "no thank you" every 5 seconds. When he returned from jet skiing I wanted to leave and return to the ship. There were still lots of time left in Cabo, but I was just agitated and done.

Once we were on the ship we did our daily routine of using our Spa pass, dinner, time in casino.

Day 4 at Cabo: This day was much better! We booked an excursion through Baja Buggies (specifically, we booked through cabosanlucastours(dot)net and chose the Baja Buggy Xrail Tour Cabo). We were told to meet them at 815am at Senor Frogs (at the dock -- can't miss). Then we got in their van and were introduced to the others going on the trip (they were hotel guests, not cruisers. All were very friendly). We drove out to their location and the guides go over safety and the proper handling of the Xrail buggy. Everyone got a helmet, shades, and a bandana (keep the dust out of your mouth/nose...this was a dirty adventure!!!). Those of us who wear glasses got the swimming looking goggles, while you perfect vision people got the cool close to your face kind. You people have all the fun ;P. It was a good 3 hours of driving through sand obstacles, trails, up a mountain, and then back down to the beach. We stopped for water breaks many times. Back at their building we were given more water and chips/salsa (you could purchase soda if wanted). Our van then took all of us back to our hotels and the dock. Oh also, my husband did all the driving. I did not want to, but then once I sat in the Xrail I noticed I would not have been able to anyway. My legs didn't reach all the way (remember I am 4'11) nor did the seat move.

Once we were on the ship we did our daily routine of using our Spa pass, dinner, time in casino.

Day 5 at Puerto Valhalla: This was an awesome day as well. We booked the Extreme Canopy tour through Carnival. The local company is Valhalla Adventures. After booking this I became nervous and thought "what have I done"! Zip lining, rappelling, suspension bridges, mule riding, etc. But I'm telling you, you CAN DO IT. It's fun and you do leave with a sense of accomplishment. The guides are always with you and they are good at their job and funny to boot. Lots of water breaks and chips/salsa at the end. If I had to say there was something I wasn't crazy about it was the mule ride. My little mule wanted to go rogue a few times but luckily a guide was behind me and would steer him back. Oh, and from the "short" perspective...some things were tough. The rope bridge was hard because taller people naturally hold the high rope a little higher, and you are having to tough down on it pretty hard to get it near your arm length. But it's doable. And at the zip line bases I would have to jump up to help the guide unhook my zip line. Ah well.

Once we were on the ship we did our daily routine of using our Spa pass, dinner, time in casino.

Day 6 at Sea: Another formal night. Did usual at Sea day things; spa, casino, lounged in the sun, eat a lot, saw a show, etc. Seth at Punchliner comedy club was awesome.

Day 7 at Sea: Like previous sea day only we also did a couple's massage at the spa and packing throughout the day.

Day 8 Debark: Like all debarks, this one was hectic. But it is what it is. Caught the Super Shuttle over to the airport to pick up our rental car. We stayed in California for 2 extra days before flying home to Alaska.

Random after thoughts:

I LOVED anytime dining and will now always book that. There were days we wanted to eat at 545pm, and days we would eat at 800pm. I love that we weren't confined to a specific time. We always ask and got a table for two. Some of the two people tables are close together, and sometimes we would chat with the other people. But I personally like it like that instead of being sitting right at a big table with people.

The Adult Serenity Deck is very lacking on the Splendor. I was really shocked by this because my last cruise was on the little Carnival Imagination and even they had a great Serenity deck. All the Splendor had was the nice padded chairs in a labeled "adults only" section. I kept looking for the bar, the umbrellas, the Jacuzzis, etc. I walked all around and all it was was the loungers. I almost feel like I must have missed an obvious section somewhere...those who cruised the Splendor...did I miss a section somewhere?

Gym was packed all the time. That surprised me actually. I didn't care for the fitness classes offered (they had yoga, an ab workout, spin I think). I am really into Turbo Kick and was hoping for something like that. Ah well.

Publication Date: 08/11/12
Read the Mexican Riviera ports review by EricaLovesCats
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