We were recently on the Splendor, from May 25 thru June 2. First off, I'd like to mention that the ship is pink. Very pink. We decided on cruising with Carnival because of the attractive rates they were offering. I haven't been on Carnival since I was on the Paradise several years ago and the others in my party had never been on Carnival at all. We drove in from NJ and parked at Park Rite, located on 43rd St. Parking was $20 per day, a steal compared to other sites. The attendant at Park Rite drove our car to the terminal and dropped us off, helping us with our luggage. Our luggage was immediately whisked away by the handlers and we didn't see it again until it was delivered to our staterooms in a very timely manner. My significant other and I had a suite with Priority Boarding and her adult children had an inside stateroom. The representatives from Carnival were very helpful to us as we did not want to split our group. She directed us to the Priority Lounge where an attendant made all the arrangements and got all our Sign and Sail passes and allowed all our party to board together. Thank you all for efforts.
At this point the first minor issue popped up. When I booked the cruise, I also purchased the Soda Package. I was told that the stickers for the S&S card would be available on board. Now the search began. The Ask Me person sent me to the Lido Deck bar, who then sent me to the person selling Soda Packages, who said that she only sells the packages and cannot give me the stickers. She directed me to Guest Services who directed me to the Lobby Bar who then directed me to the coffee shop by the casino. The attendant there issued me the stickers. One more note, Guest Services wasn't even aware that the soda package could be purchased during the booking. Also, considering the price of the soda package, give me the beverage tumbler for free.
The suite was sweet! Very large with a dressing area and more than enough storage space. The balcony was larger than the other balcony's we have been on and was a nice option to have everyone out there to enjoy the sunset without being crowded. The interior room was also larger then we have seen on other ships. Did I mention the ship is pink? Unfortunately we left in the rain. Too cold to head topside and watch as we passed by the Statue of Liberty and under the bridge. The following day was also too chilly to head outside, but we explored the ship instead. The ship does have an odd layout that takes some time to get used to. Once we figured it out we were OK. The next two days were fabulous. The weather during the sea day was awesome. The downside is there just aren't enough loungers for the amount of people looking to sit in the sun.
Grand Turks Cruise Center was great! The beach was beautiful, the pool was great and the Flow Rider was fun to watch. The NASA exhibit was pretty cool for the frustrated astronaut locked inside of me. Margaritaville was the highlight. The snacks were good, drinks were cold and delicious. It was pricey though, but we were on vacation so who cares? We did see some passengers bringing drinks, including beer off the ship. Thats one way to beat the system. The next two days, Half Moon Cay and Nassau were pretty bad. No fault of Carnival though. The weather at Half Moon Cay was rainy and a little windy. We didnt even bother getting off the ship. Nassau wasnt as rainy, but not nice enough to do any exploring. We wandered around the shopping area and headed back on board. The following sea day was very nice, again, crowded. At one point in the adult section of the ship, there were no fewer than 40 people in the pool. Talk about no space to move. Our last sea day was again a little chilly, not too bad, but enough for us to decide not to head topside.
The service was OK. Our room steward, Reynaldo was very nice and catered to our every need. He snuck in and snuck out and had the room completely made up in the time we went to eat breakfast. The ice was refreshed twice a day and we saw some towel animals that we have never seen before. Yes, we took pictures of them. Andreas was our Beverage Server in the Black Pearl dining room. We had the late seating on deck 4. He was very attentive and friendly. He would share his knowledge of the islands we were visiting and was quick to suggest a beverage choice if we were perplexed. He is a credit to Carnival. Our lead waiter, Saint, was very talkative. He was quick with the menus and taking the orders. Unfortunately, there were times when he didnt quite deliver. He almost never checked back with us during the meal to insure the our food was OK. A simple request for a condiment took 10 minutes or more to deliver. By this time, the meal was cold. I didnt expect him to drop everything to serve me, but come on! Coffee was another issue. Out of the 8 nights, we were offered coffee, 3 times. If we wanted it, we had to ask for it the other times. The quality of the meals ranged from pretty good to pretty bad. A steak ordered medium comes out like shoe leather. A medium well steak comes out rare, really rare. There is obviously a short circuit between the kitchen and the wait staff. The buffet was OK, we could almost always find something. The grill, pizzeria, the deli were all very good. We didnt try the Indian food, just not our thing. Another interesting little tidbit. About 3 days into the cruise, I noticed there were no more ketchup bottles in the buffet or the grill area. Plenty of mustard though. I had to ask for ketchup and was brought 2 bottles with barely more than a squirt left in each. How do you run out of ketchup on a cruise? When we reached Nassau, remarkably, ketchup bottles materialized once again on every table. Was there a ketchup crisis in NY that I didnt know about?
The shows we saw were fun, well done and entertaining. Most of the comedy we saw was also very good. We also spent a great deal of time in the casino. For the 3rd time in a row now, I actually brought more money home than what I started with. We didnt play any slots, never had luck on a ship with them, but stuck to Let it Ride and Three Card Poker. The Dealers and Pit Bosses made the trip. To both Dealers named Nick, Mike, Paul, Rich and Pit Boss Alise, thanks! We had a ball. OH YEA!!! Thanks to Scottie, that will be in my head forever...
By the way, the ship is pink.
All in all, it was a good trip. We enjoyed ourselves very much. Unfortunately, after five cruises with Royal Caribbean, we have been spoiled. I really dont think Carnival can hold a candle to Royal.