Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by aaronrob: We are sold on the Fun Ship!!!
Overall Member Rating
We are sold on the Fun Ship!!!
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
After 23 cruises on various lines I think we may be justified in our review. The Splendor was our 3rd Carnival Cruise having been on Freedom over New Years and The Splendor the same time in 2013. We have sailed on Celebrity, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Disney so here it is:
Being in my late 40's with wife in mid 40's together with 18, 15 year old sons; this ship was awesome.
I am not going to break it down into dining, entertainment, ports, service, and misc. I am going to give it to you straight. Weather was perfect 7 days of sun in 80's and 90's and calm as can be… We were worried about embarkation because of immigration inspection so we delayed and arrived at 12:45. $320 parking fee is a joke. We were on ship by 1:30 and room was ready and off to lunch we went. The next 8 days comprised of spectacular service; meeting friends from all over with a shout out to wonderful families from Hershey, Pa. and Hamden, Ct.. We spend a lot of time in trivia: More sports, music, history etc. and the Splendor had a wonderful variety. What a great place to meet people and the sports bar was also a place to meet friends with common interests. Anyhow I digress; two areas that set Carnival apart are the Comedy club (4 sea days) and the Brunch option; don't ever get rid of that. It is unique and enjoyable. The food in the dining room Gold Pearl early seating was 5 star along with the service. The cuts of meat, lobster, seafood, and appetizers were delicious and this is coming from a big man who can eat… Reynaldo and Reuben table 419 were the best restaurant staff we have had in 23 cruises. We arrived at dinner every night at 6-6:10 PM and were finished with dessert by 7:15 PM. Food was hot and variety was excellent. Try an NCL cruise with baby shrimp and limited menu and then complain about choices. Never did we feel compelled to eat at specialty restaurant, like they push incessantly on other cruise lines.
Must give a shout out to Kate and Banks along with Malcolm (CD) and staff - super personable and enthusiastic about their jobs. Sure hope Banks returns to cruising as this was his last contract; great guy and quite good on the basketball court. Room steward Benget was sensational as we opted for ocean view stateroom being we are venturing on an Alaskan cruise in a month.. $$ lol.
Ports were great, my 18 year old loved the legal drinking age in San Juan., St Thomas, and Grand Turk and this cruise really was to celebrate as a family Nick's accomplishments. Try Coki beach in St. Thomas as we have been to the island at least 5 times. Take a cab or bus and you will be amazed at water, tropical fish and price on drinks. Grand Turk; we knew about rocks in ocean and rough on feet having been there last year so we hung with family friends and the 18 years olds got to swim, drink adult beverages, listen to music at Margaritaville.
Final remarks are quite simple: you make of a cruise what you want to: I could have criticized the buffet which is not very good but I tried it once and utilized sit down breakfast, lunch and dinner. We branch off and experience as much as we can in 8 days, my wife is a Godsend (she does not let me sit around), and my 15 year goes to kids club, 18 year old meets friends. We have been members on cruise critic for a long time and just like I heard on the ship about the decor and navigating your way around c'mon; if you spend any vacation focusing on the mundane and negative I feel sorry for you. Thanks for an awesome time Carnival Splendor and more memories to share with my family!!! Less
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