Hello fellow cruisers!
Carnival Splendor 09-17NOV13 ex NYC... here are a few of my thoughts...
I was with my partner, all 3 brothers, Dad, mother-in-law, 1 sister-in-law, 2 nephews and 1 niece. It was in celebration of Dad's 87th birthday. 9 to 87 years of age and everything in between!
This was our 2nd Carnival cruise. Although the family get-together made it, I would not book a similar cruise with Carnival for just the 2 of us. Normally my partner and I cruise Regent, Princess or HAL.
The good... embarkation took just 20 minutes, as we had a suite with priority boarding. I thought the entertainment in the main theatre was more than expected and really enjoyed it. The food and service in The Pinnacle Steakhouse were excellent. We did that twice. The food in the Black Pearl was adequate, but good. We had 6:00pm seating and were booted out at 8:00pm every night (we are slow eaters and talk while we eat).
The bad... There was an outbreak of something on board. Fortunately, I came away unscathed, but several of my family members came down with GI problems, both on and after the cruise. I guess that whenever you put 3000+ passengers in a confined space from all over the world, it is inevitable, but Carnival dealt with it well. Hand sanitizing stations were abundant, but I observed several people not using them, or leaving the public restrooms without even washing their hand. A good offence is the best defence.
We rented a car in Port Canaveral and had a nice day at the Kennedy Space Centre. My 9 year old nephew enjoyed the visitor complex, but was bored on the 3 hour bus tour of the VAB and launch pads. I enjoyed it and so did Dad, but at 87, he seemed to be struggling with all the walking.
We just went downtown in Nassau to do some shopping with my mother-in-law. She found what she was looking for, but it took 3 hours. We went to a bar, had a drink, and headed back to the ship.
In Freeport, we stayed on board. It was nice to be on a mostly empty ship, as I felt crowded when everyone was on board.
We had a suite (7288). Compared to other cruise lines, the perks you get with a suite on Carnival are hardly noticeable. The room was nice and large, and I did enjoy the spa tub on several occasions. Our steward, Reuben was great!
This cruise had four sea days and I enjoyed each of them. There was lots to do, if one wanted, but I decided to just kick-back on our balcony and read a good book.
Disembarkation was very orderly and efficient. We left the suite at 8:45am, had a hot breakfast at the buffet and strolled off round 10:00am. We had to wait about an hour to get a taxi to LGA for our flight home.
Overall, like I said, our family get together made this trip for us. I especially enjoyed hosting our family at 5:00pm everyday in our suite for drinks before dinner.
Would I do Carnival again? After 15 cruises, not unless it was a family affair. My partner and I will stick with something a bit more upscale. It was good value for the dollar, for what it was.
PS: My partner and I purchased the Cheers! program for drinks on day 2. It was well worth it, but your choices and quantities are limited. Also, you have to personally buy your own and cannot treat somebody else. See the website for more details. - CW