Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by RCS2cruise: Splendor, Mexican Riviera, 11/11/12
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Splendor, Mexican Riviera, 11/11/12
This cruise was meant to extend our summer and provide a break from everyday stress. We flew down to LA from Vancouver, BC the day before. As soon as the plane took off, the phones and Ipods were turned to airplane mode, to avoid nasty roaming bills, and also to see if we could handle going "off the grid" for a whole week. Turns out it was pretty easy. Once at LAX, we found Super Shuttle and were on our way to the Hotel Maya for overnight. The hotel was clean (no bugs!) with wonderful walking paths along the shoreline. It was a bit noisy, but it was a Saturday night and didn't really bother us. We took the free Passport shuttle to downtown to pick up some wine to take aboard, and then visited the Shoreline Village for a stroll and dinner.
The next morning, we took the hotel shuttle to the port around 10:30. Check-in was easy and quick, and we were given zone 4 for loading. Embarkation didn't really start until 11:30 or so, and by the time we went through the More requisite security lines, it was 12:30 by the time we were on the ship. First stop was the Lido deck aft, where we enjoyed the much-anticipated pastrami on rye paninis from the Grill, along with a Yellow Bird to really start the cruise. After that, we went to check out our cabin. Our luggage was already there, and we unpacked and met our cabin steward, Joanna. She was excellent, and kept the cabin immaculate and the ice bucket full.
We ate all breakfasts and most lunches in the Buffet. The variety and quantities were excellent, though it was difficult to be able to get through the lines and to a table to eat while the food was still warm. However, since we neither had to prepare nor clean up, we weren't about to complain! We ate all dinners in the Main Dining Room, Early seating. Our staff there was excellent, especially our Dining Assistant Maryia, who was always smiling, friendly and who would take the time to say hello and chat for a moment whenever we met up at the Buffet or on the Lido deck too. We were at a table for 4. We hit it off with the other couple, so much so that we spent the day together in PV. Meals in the MDR were usually good -- good variety, great service. Again, meals were usually warm rather than hot, but I accept that it's tough to do hot meals with so many passengers.
We had been to these ports before, and chose not to do any of the ship-sponsored shore excursions this time. In Cabo San Lucas, we went ashore on the first day, to have a massage at Lolo's Spa, and to wander/shop. It was sunny and hot, and we enjoyed the day. We were back on the ship by about 3 for frozen yogurt and a dip in the pool. On the 2nd Cabo day, we stayed on the ship, lazing around the pool, enjoying the Serenity deck and generally just wandering about.
In PV, we went ashore around 10AM with our MDR tablemates. We took the local bus down to the Malecon. It was interesting to see the stone statues and sand castles while strolling along the beachwalk. Whenever it got too hot, we stopped to shop in one of the many shops. By about 2pm, we caught the local bus back to the ship, and spent the rest of the day relaxing (again).
Most mornings, we would try to get some exercise walking/jogging a few miles around the ship. On the Splendor, it's difficult, since the jogging track is so short (10 laps = 1 mile) and there is no deck with an outdoor all-around-the-ship promenade. I used the gym once, but found that on the ships, I prefer to work out outdoors if possible. In a attempt to keep the cruise weight gain down, we also made a point of taking the stairs rather than the elevator, except if we had luggage.
In the evenings, we enjoyed the Production shows, but were not impressed with the magician/juggler. We only saw two of the comedy shows -- they were okay, not bad, not great.
Debarkation seemed to take forever, mostly due to long, slow line-ups getting through Homeland Security for non-US citizens.
All in all, it was a good cruise for us, achieving the goal of relaxation. We no longer try to do "everything", with the result of being exhausted when we return home. Instead we've learned to pick and choose what we want to do, but leave enough time to just relax and unwind. Less
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