Sailed on the Splendor from N.Y. Nov 1st on an 8 day voyage. We were an extended family of 5 with 2 grandparents, 2 parents and 1 child of 3 yrs. old. We had no misconception that this was going to be nice family time on an O.K. ship going to O.K. ports of call.
Embarkation was a breeze. We took a private car from Middlebury CT. Though it was a little pricey having room and comfort for the 5 of us and not paying the heavy parking fee for the 8 days was well worth the cost. We arrived at the cruise terminal at 11:45 and were on the ship by 12:20.
First impression of the ship was like being in a Dunkin Donuts shop with a pinkish donut design everywhere.
This does become less noticeable after several days. The ship itself seems to be a little short on space near and at the entrance of most public areas especially at the front of the pool. They certainly could have omitted some rooms and extended the pool area. This was the smallest main pool area that I have ever encountered. The same was true for the Adult Only Serenity area. Not sure who thought of this placement. Seemed to be an afterthought. The ship does have a decent flow to it and once you get use to the layout for the dining areas it becomes very easy to traverse.
We enjoyed the layout and décor of the shops, casino and the lounges. Our favorite spot was the Punch liner's Comedy Club at the back of the boat. The comedians were great and varied. We watched 2 of the production shows, Varoom being the better. The production team seemed to be out of sync, the vocalist did a nice job but will be much better with more practice together down the road. Overall the shows were
Our grandson seemed to enjoy camp carnival though it took some time for him to get use to the idea. They seemed to really enjoy the children on the ship wherever we were especially in the dining rooms. A word to the wise this is a family cruise ship and there will be young teens let loose and out of control and there will be young children crying. If this bothers you do not book this cruise spend the money and book another cruise line.
Dining varied throughout the ship in both quality and quantity. There were many dining options to choose from daily. We preferred to have the late breakfast(brunch) in the Golden Pearl dining room and we had diner at the any time dining in the Black Pearl dining room. We found the food good every night but the service was exceptional. The wait staff were very attentive and the food was always warm to hot. Diners were served on a timely basis most meals lasting around an hour. We ate lunches mostly on lido deck 9 and though there were lines they were never more than a few minutes if that. Food varied and one could always find something to enjoy. Service at the buffet areas was adequate and always polite.
We had a great room steward who was attenative to our every needs and loved leaving the towel animals every night for our grandson to enjoy. We had them all lined up on the couch like an animal parade and he would sit and talk to them when he was bored.
Ports of call for this trip was nothing to exciting
Port Canaveral- We rented a car and made a run for Sea World. It was a nice time wish we had another hour or 2.
Nassau- Really wish we had been able to dock but we were in the midst of a windy cold front and seemed to be too dangerous to tie up........ Really at Nassau.... I've never heard of any ship aborting Nassau as a port of call. We did get reimbursed the $3.86 port tax per person. Yippee.........had a day at the Sheraton planned.
Freeport- Did the beach and 2 hrs. shopping at the port. weather was the best and the grandson really enjoyed the water and the sand. This is what we really came for
Disembarkation was relatively easy. We did not do the self assist because of the 3 yr. old and I was really glad we did not. Once our assigned # was called we were off the ship, collected our luggage and were thru customs in 20 minutes waiting for the car to pick us up by 9:40
Overall this was an enjoyable first cruise for the entire family to spend some quality time together. This ship will always be what you make of it. Do not expect first class, five star food and accommodations and you will not be disappointed. You can expect an enjoyable time with decent food and very good service at a great price for 8 days and remember there will be children