Outside of the not so great weather and the fact that we couldn't dock in Nassau because of heavy swells, the ship itself and staff was top notch. We've been on several Carnival cruises, a Royal Caribbean and a few Norwegian cruises, and I must say that I was very impressed with the service and quality of nearly everything on board this ship. My only major complaint is that the hot tubs were not nearly as hot as they should be. Warm, but not hot. For a ship leaving and returning to New York year round, the hot tubs should really be right to the limit.
First time we took an aft facing balcony. It was really great, but be warned that there is a bit less privacy from adjacent cabins because the walls are angled at roughly 90 degrees. If you stand toward the edge, you can easily see a good portion of the balcony next to you. It's like this with all the aft facing balconies on decks 6 and 7. The the side walls on the ones on deck 8 seem to have a different design. But having that double sized balcony with a chaise lounge and 3 other chairs definitly made up for the very slight lack of privacy, or catching a glimpse of those two guys sunbathing nude next door.... No noise from the nightclub underneath, or from the engines. However the movement is much more pronounced on the aft (far forward as well) than more toward mid ship. We didn't mind, but if you are particularly prone to motion sickness or have trouble sleeping when it's bumpy then don't go on the aft.
Food was perfect and actually even better than in the past, even though we've really never been disappointed on any of our cruises. All the staff was curtious and attentive.
The size of this ship is much more managable than the Dream, which we sailed on last year. On the Dream we waited and waited for the buffet and elevators. On the Splendor there was almost no waiting for anything. It's very much like the Carnival Freedom (Conquest class), which we were on a few years ago. It's actually built as a slightly smaller version of the Conquest class.
We've never gone on any ship twice, but are already looking to go on the Splendor again.