Just returned from an 8 day Splendor cruise of the Eastern Caribbean that I have to describe as amazing.
Please note, this was my first ever cruise experience and I wasn't sure what to expect other than boring days, sub-par performances and old people bingo. I was wrong.
Check-in was between 1 to 3pm at pier 90. We arrived at the check-in line at 2:45 and were in our cabin by 3:30 with luggage waiting for us. Food timing was a bad on our part as we board after lunch but before dinner, so the pizza and grill lines were too long to join. Plus I wanted to take pictures of downtown NYC, Statue of Liberty and the under Verazanno bridge as we left NY so, food waited until dinner. If the weather is nice I STRONGLY recommend standing on deck 14 while passing under the Verazanno bridge. It is an experience.
Skip the Steak in the main dinning hall. I think it is purposely poor to make you visit the Pinnacle Steakhouse.
The main dinning hall menus were hit or miss. Sometimes I got something that was 5 star amazing and other times I got something that was eh. By day 3 I noticed the same items served in the main dinning hall were also available in the lido buffet. Don't go in expecting David Burke Townhouse level food. Try a little bit of everything and you'll find amazing, good and eh. Two call-out's;
Make sure you try the Tandoor Grill at the back of the lido deck (4 out of 5 stars),
In the 2nd buffet area of lido there are stairs that go up to the 10th floor, There is a rotisserie chicken place up there that few knew about....amazing! Sadly with all the different things to try, I only ate there once but...amazing!
This aspect blew my mind. For weeks I complained to my GF that I would be bored on the ship all day. Man was I wrong. Malcolm "Woo Hoo" Burn as cruise director was amazing. His sense of humor was perfect for a New York crowd and the events that he put together were highly entertaining. I loved the fact that most of the events had an adult theme to them. Special call outs to the scavenger hunts, gender wars, game shows, hairy chest contest, ice carving, caribbean dance party, Mexican dance party, adult game show (I needed church after that) and the "Quest" (I needed confession after that).
But I have to call out Steve McFarlen and the Splendor band, the Splendor dancers and Tom Evans. I go to a lot of broadway shows and let me say, the production here kept me entertained. 4 different productions with at least 7 costume changes per production. These guys are stars. My GF fell in love with Tom Evans, the man is pure energy both on and off the stage.
Overall, I loved this cruise and really liked the people. Shout outs to Donkey, Shane, Fluffy, DJ Bank$ for being highly entertaining. With 3,400 people on board I still found myself asking several times a day "where are all the people". Each night between 6 and 7pm I felt the entire 14th level was just my gf and me.