We sailed on the Splendor on October 8, 2013. In our room was my husband, my twin daughters who are almost 2 and me. We were traveling with 4 other adults who were in other rooms.
Embarkation: It was very smooth. We walked in received a number then waited on line to check in. The line moved very fast and by the time we were done checking in our number was called to board. The guy taking our picture to board was a little pushy and forgot to give me my daughter’s card back and insisted he did. Well it was in his hand the whole time he didn’t even realize.
Décor: The ship is pink inside but not overly pink like I read in some reviews. I liked it and thought it was pretty and fun. It also had a zebra print and I thought it was nice. The pink was not a bright pink like I had imagined from reviews.
Once we boarded we went right to the Lido deck for lunch and found a seat. We never had a problem on the Lido deck finding a seat for the buffet. There are so many options for seating.
Room: They told us our room would be ready by 1:30pm. We went to our room number 1102 at 1:20 pm and our room was indeed ready. It was a great size and decorated nicely. The balcony was also a great size and our family fit nicely on it. There is no overhang above this floor so people could see us from above on our balcony. We heard a few people say oh look at the twins. I really did not mind it and most times didn’t even notice people. We had received an upgrade for a small fee ($95) from our original balcony room on the empress deck 7. I was concerned after I already agreed to upgrade that I would feel sick since we moved from the middle of the ship to the front of the ship. It was fine and really a great quiet floor since it was the Spa Deck. This room was a Cloud 9 Spa Room. The lotion in the room smelled so good. They never refreshed it though and I had to ask for more lotion. Our cabin steward (I cannot remember his name) was amazing. He came in right before the muster drill and introduced himself. He was really nice and remembered our names and our twins names right away. The room was very clean. We had our twins with us who are almost 2 and they would make a mess with their snacks. Of course I cleaned up what I could daily but I didn’t have a vacuum. Every day we would come back to the room and it was perfect again. He would take the kids dolls/toys and put them on the bed to make it like they were sleeping. It was so cute and the girls loved it.
Food: The food at the buffet was good. Some days I thought the selection was just OK but I always found something I liked. At the popular stations there was always a line. I think they should have more people working these stations. I only waited for Pizza and Omelets. I did like the pizza, it was a great late night food. The omelets were tasty. Breakfast was my favorite at the buffet. The options were good. Lunch was ok and dinner was ok. The rotisserie was really good and always empty. People just did not know it was there. The chicken was really good. The main dining room for dinner was fantastic. We did my time dining. Not once did I order something I did not like for the appetizer and main course. The staff was very friendly and although we had any time dining, if we had the same server he remembered all of our names. I loved the little shows they put on. They were entertaining and looked like they enjoyed themselves. The chocolate melting cake it AMAZING! One of the best desserts I have ever had. One dessert was not very good and that was the pumpkin pie. It was almost has if it was pumpkin creamy jello, very weird. The only place we did not get to try was the taste bar. Every time I passed it was never open. It also never listed the times it would be open on the sign. I loved the coffee bar. They were always very nice and tried to go fast but it takes a while to make these drinks. The drinks were fantastic though and I ordered it almost every day. The coffee from the buffet, and room service was gross. I did however like the coffee in the dining room. We went to the Steakhouse one night to celebrate a birthday. It was worth every penny. The staff was very nice and accommodating. I did bring my daughters with me. They were well behaved for dinners so I said why not. Well one of them just did not want to sit so I kept taking her for walks because I did not want to ruin someones dinner. The manager offered to take her and entertain her while I was eating. My daughter wouldn’t go to her but I thought that was wonderful of her to offer. The dessert was to die for. I had an apple tart type and it was amazing. My brother and sister in law had cheese cake and it was HUGE and it tasted amazing. The price was not much considering the quality of food. We ordered room service a lot. With the kids it is good to have some snacks in the room. It always came really fast and it was always right. When we would order food for the next morning we would hang a sign on our door. It asked for the time we would like our food delivered and it always came at that time. It was great and the food always came hot which is a plus.
Entertainment: The shows were good. The singers were entertaining although the girl screamed a little too much. The guy was fantastic. The dancing was ok but overall entertaining. I loved the music they sang. I saw three comedy shows and all three were hilarious. They were always crowded and everyone enjoyed them. The last two nights on board the shows were so crowded they turned people away. You have to get there early to get a seat. I liked it was adults only at night for the comedy shows. For the most part the entertainment staff was pleasant and happy. Malcolm the cruise director was nice but the Woohoo’s were too much. It got annoying after a while. He was always around and making announcements.
Spa: The spa amenities that came with the room were nice. I used it a couple of time. The pool and sauna’s were really nice. I did a great spa treatment. It was a special they offered when booked the first day. It was $149 for a full body massage, and a mini facial. It lasted about 90 minutes and was fantastic. I loved it. I wanted to get my hair done for dinner one night but I ran out of time. I saw people come out of the salon and their hair always looked really pretty.
Port Day 1 Grand Turk
This is a beautiful island. The beach is very rocky. I think we picked the wrong side to sit on because the other side we noticed once we were getting back on the ship looked less rocky. We sat to the right of the boat I think the left side was much better. I went into the water and stayed about 5 minutes. I was wearing water shoes but hit my food on a rock and it hurt so bad I said ok no more water. One of my daughters also didn’t like the water there so we stayed out and played in the sand. They had waitress getting drinks from MargaritaVille. If you bought the souvenir cup for $12 it came with free refills of soft drinks/lemonade. It was a great deal. You could also go into the bar yourself and get a refill. After the beach we did some shopping. There were some good little shops and the prices weren’t bad.
Port Day 2: Half Moon Cay
This is the best beach I have ever been on. The sand is so soft and the water is crystal clear. This was my favorite port day by far. The staff was carnival staff and they were really nice. The Barbeque lunch was also really good and many selections and a lot of fresh fruit. They had drink Machines on this island for lemonade and iced tea. We rented a clam shell shade and it was really nice to have. I would recommend that to anyone. You have to get them fast though because they do sell out. Getting to the island was a breeze and it was faster than they said it would be. My kids loves this Island and the water. Carnival staff took many photos on the beach. It was all around a wonderful day.
Port day 3: Nassau
We wanted to book the excursion to Blue Lagoon Island but we were told by the excursion desk that not enough people were booked so they were not going to do it. We asked what was a comparable excursion and he said Balmoral Island. He said it was a Carnival Island. He said it was better and took half the time 20 minutes or less. My family booked it. When we went to the boat to go over to the island I was shocked because it was very small for the amount of people. They crammed us onto this boat. It was very hard to get on and off of the boat. People who were handicapped had a really hard time since it was a high step to get on and you had to duck your head. The staff was unorganized and not very helpful. It took us 45 minutes to get to Balmoral Island. It was a rocky ride and most people felt very sick. Once we got there we saw a lot of beach chairs and umbrellas. The sand was beautiful and so was the water. Unfortunately my group and many others did not stay in the ocean because it was very rocky. Also there was sea glass, and fish hooks. Most people stayed out of the ocean. We found a small pool on the Island and stayed there. We opted to get lunch package. The lunch was good but the staff was rude. Our waitress was not happy that we all ordered the same lunch accept for one person in our party. After the food came she never came back again for drink orders. This island did take the sail and sign card.so that was easy. Everything was very expensive on this island. When booking the excursion and while on the boat we were told we would have plenty of time to do some shopping and then go back to the boat. We had no time at all. We returned to the port at 3:15 pm and had to be back to the ship at 3:30 pm. We were told by the staff that getting back was much easier to get off the boat. That was 100% wrong. The location they docked was awful. You had to step off onto a small piece of concrete and then had to either climb over a 3 foot wall or walk along the thin ledge and step over a rope that was lifted in the air. It was extremely dangerous and scary. I had kids with me that I climbed over with. My mother was very scared she walked along the ledge. She was unable to climb over a wall. It was a bad day and not what was expected. When we returned to the ship I spoke to someone at the excursion desk. He slipped and said this island was not complete but it should not have been this bad. I really wanted to say how unsafe this was because safety to me is number one. He did refund us ½ the price of the excursion. I was told by Carnival that this excursion is not a Carnival Island that Carnival is the only line that uses this excursion but it is not owned by Carnival. The excursion desk told us this was a Carnival owned Island. I felt there was a lot of communication problems.
Debarkation: We were in zone 10. We waited in the theater and it was not too bad. One of the staff members was very frustrated. I felt bad because he was being asked every 5 seconds when would people be let off. I was talking to him and said this must be your favorite day (sarcasm). He said it is always the worst day of any cruise but this was even worse because there was some inspection. He said he usually gets to explore NYC for a little bit but today that would not happen. The inspection delayed the debarkation but really people are very impatient. When we were called we went down to customs and were waiting for our ride home within 15 minutes. It was quick. I did not see them stop anyone.
Overall this cruise was fantastic. The only bad thing was the excursion to Balmoral Island but everything else was great. I loved the food, the activities, and just being on a cruise. The last time I went on a cruise was when I was a teenager and it was even better being an adult. I cannot wait to go on another cruise and for my kids to be able use camp carnival during the day I think they would love it.