We just returned from our cruise on the Carnival Splendor, and I can't help but feel a little disappointed all the way around. We upgraded our cabin to the Grand Suite, which is supposed to be the largest cabins on the ship. The room was a nice size for my hubby and our 2 daughters (2&6), but I didn't really care for the long narrow balcony. We've had aft-facing balconies in the past and would choose that over all else.
The room was clean and in good condition. It wasn't quite ready when we boarded, but we were able to drop our bags, get some lunch, and explore the ship. The weather was very mild leaving NYC (sunny and in the 50's), and we were able to hang out on our balcony as we left the city (with our coats on).
The room had a rollaway crib set up for our 2 yr old, and we were happy to discover a DVD player as well. We brought our daughters favorite Disney movies to watch at bed time so they could unwind after long days on board.
The food in the MDR was good each night and the Steakhouse was excellent! We were really disappointed in the Lido dining though. There never seemed to be food available when we went there, and the few times that we actually found the food, either the lines were ridiculously long or the food was cold. The Room Service Menu was pretty scarce as well and usually arrived wrong. We weren't ordering huge amounts of food or asking for anything special, so it didn't make sense why there were so many mistakes.
We purchased the Vineyards program...5 bottles of wine for $155 (the Deluxe package). This worked out great and was very convenient. We skipped the Cheers Program, since we arent really HEAVY drinkers, and it ended up being a good call (we never even came close to spending $1000 on alcohol, which is what the program would have been for the 2 of us).
We were also very disappointed in the kids club. My daughters had been very excited about going, after going to the kids club on RCCL last year, but it was a huge let down. The counselors did not seem to enjoy their jobs at all. They barely interacted with the kids, and did not do anything to try to console little ones that were crying. No one seemed overly happy in either program (2-5 & 6-8).
We found ourselves walking aimlessly around the ship, looking for something to do. The timing of activities just didnt seem to work out for our family at all (even the movie times just never seemed to work for us). It was very hard to be on this ship with 2 little kids.
One major complaint that I have is that we basically had to go to deck 5 to get around the ship, which would have been fine, except thtat we had to walk through the smoking section of the casino constantly (which is really bad for kids)...
We did enjoy the art auctions onboard, and my husband did end up purchasing a few pieces. He also had some nice wins at the Black Jack table. Most of the employees, staff and crew that we dealt with were lovely. We even made a trip to the Medical Office, and everyone there was professional and caring.
We enjoyed our days in Nassau & Freeport, and the weather was beautiful (sunny and in the 80's each day). The trip wasn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be. We will cruise with our kids again, but next time will stick to RCCL.