Carnival Splendor Sept 22-30, 2013
Cruise Itinerary: San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk
Very smooth with a nice VIP area (different from when we sailed out of NYC last March)
Carnival should let Platinum & Diamond know they need to ask for special tape from porters for the FTTF early luggage delivery ID.
However even though we knew about the tape from Cruise Critic only one of our 2 suitcase were delivered early so this program still have some issues.
That said it was nice to have our rooms ready and to be able to drop off our carry on luggage
We were happy with our cabin and our cabin steward welcomed us and made sure we had everything we needed
Great cabin but do not like the new "clean" tv remotes. The buttons are not user friendly, with the sleep button not working. The interactive dining menu feature was an effort to view not at all like other Carnival ships. Also it's nice to have a card with the Cabin Steward's name and this was not present.
Malcolm Burn I know this is a subjective topic but in my opinion his trade mark Woo Hoo wears thin fast.
We had My Time Dining and mostly we had great wait staff, especially "Coco".
MDR Food was very good. This is one of the few times everyone in our party ordered steaks at different times and no one needed to send any back.
Steakhouse: We had a lovely dinner at Pinnacle Steakhouse. Food and service was excellent.
Chef's Table: Food is excellent but would like to see the menu change more often.
Lido: Mongolian Wok was not working for most of the cruise (they had the food but it was not cooked to order because of issues with the burners). Also I would like to see Carnival limit the orders to two bowls per passenger. We saw folks would show up with four bowls!
Lido Buffet: Okay
Deli, Pizza & Tandoor Indian Buffet: Good
Piano Bar Player, Quest Game: both were very good
Whodunit event was fun and although it was announced when the answer would be revealed at the original event, please put it in the Funtimes or at least on the answer sheet. When the solution day came we couldn't remember the time/place to attend and missed the solution.
Watched the hairy chest contest and thought the entertainment staff put a different spin on the contest with more audience participation.
Deck parties were fun and Entertainment staff did a good job with them.
Personal comment " other than Robert who was great I felt the Entertainment Staff did their job, but weren't exceptional.
Comedy Club: Always subjective
We liked all the comedians (Except for the one family show by Lester Bibbs. It consisted of Lester bringing up children from the audience and asking them to tell a joke. This was lame and a bust. If a comedian is scheduled for a family show he/she should have enough family friendly material to cover a set. The second set of comedians were better and both did different shows each performance.
The Dive In theater was fun for night time movies but why the same Billy Joel concert every morning?
Bean Bag Toss: This ship holds them on the Lido deck instead of the Atrium lobby as on some of the other Carnival ships. Not the best of venues for this event. The weather hot or rain diminishes the fun, it was too noisy (it was right next to the DJ booth), too crowded and there was no place for spectators. I have seen this event develop into a cult following on other ships but not here.
Return Guest party: Good.
Always relaxing but why are there no robe hooks in the thalassotherapy pool area?
San Juan: We did our own tour a food tasting tour called Flavors of San Juan very nice.
St. Thomas: Hubby had his Golf excursion cancelled because they needed at least 6 participants. For an excursion that costs over $200 (not including club rental) you shouldn't need 6 people to have the excursion.
Grand Turk " We rented a cabana and that worked out well for us. Some of our party can't take the sun so having the shade & A/C was a plus. The only issue was that there was no instruction for getting our cabana key. I had asked at Shore Excursions and was told that there would be someone there. We couldn't find anyone and finally went to Margaritaville and got the key. (Turns out that they own the Cabanas) Be prepared to surrender your Sail & Sail card to your Cabana person. Your card is returned to you when you return the cabana key. Enjoyed the Margaritaville pool & swim-up bar.
We took a walk to Jack's Shack and had our free rum tasting with Jack. We ordered lunch at Jack's (conch fritters, burgers, etc. " nice side trip and cheaper than Margaritaville.
Behind the Fun Tour. We have done this tour on other Carnival ships and this tour was good as well.
Easy and well done. We did the Self-Assist and had no issues.
It was a good time. We have sailed Carnival many times and will continue to do so. It is a good value for the dollar. However I am hoping that Carnival will revisit their Eastern ports resuming departures from Boston and Baltimore or have more ships out of New York with different itineraries (for the months of November & December it's just the Bahamas).