My husband and our daughters just returned from our 8 day trip on Splendor and had fun overall. We had fabulous weather, I think it rained for one hour the whole 8 days. Don't get the Fast to the Fun for $50 a cabin, as we boarded the boat at 11:30 with no problem!
Embarkation/Disembarkation both were no lines, fast and easy. We loved departing from NYC, it was a perfect afternoon and the view was breathtaking. It was a great way to start our trip, pulling out of NYC, we took tons of pictures right then alone. People on the boat were mostly from PA, NY and New Jersey and all super friendly, we met so many really nice people! We were happy with our rooms. We had two interior cabins that we were assigned, one was on the Empress and the other Verandah, both in the back and near the elevators/stairs. We were very fortunate with the location, as you went 1-2 levels up to the Lido deck pool and restaurant. I though the buffet food was fine, but we all loved the 24 hour Pizza, it was excellent. We also loved the Indian restaurant and the Deli, they made a great Panini. Both of these restaurants are on the Lido aft pool deck, right above our rooms and we took advantage of them! I was impressed with the food, just the buffet lines were ridiculous and a real turn off, at times they snaked into the pool area on the lido deck, and forget about the Mongolian Wok, the line was always horrendous, a good 30 minutes wait. A few things that annoyed us were these long lines and the lack of adequate bartenders on the ship. The bar at the Lido Adult pool was totally understaffed and the wait a good 20 minutes most of the time. I don't get why they have tons of workers cleaning the ship around the clock and yet have only one or two bartenders serving tons of people, it makes no sense. Maybe now that they sell the liquor card, they reduced the bartending staff to offset it... Another issue we had was the deplorable service we received at dinner, again understaffed. Every night we waited and waited to order drinks and resorted to flagging down random staff, it was a joke the whole trip. But we had some real nice people at our table so that kept us coming back each night. We last sailed on Royal Caribbean and our dinners were fabulous, a hundred percent better than what we experienced on Carnival. Also, we found the meat entree's were excellent, everything else average. The brunch on the sea days were nice, we went twice, but it seems as if they keep it undercover, as we and many others did not find out about it until our return portion of the trip. Loved the Casino workers, super nice blackjack dealers, (especially Guiseppe), and the overall atmosphere in the Casino was nice, the women working in the booth super friendly! We literally broke even in the end and had a great time playing every night. My biggest gripe was the excursion desk and staff! Very unhelpful and outright rude, especially Jake. I spent $1600 on excursions and to be honest they were not so great. Do not do the Atlantis dolphin excursion, it was short and the staff from the Atlantis are outright rude. It cost $220 a person and most of the time was spent sitting and waiting, it was NOT worth the money. Also, we did SNUBA and not impressed, was $100 and it was not off a boat but at the beach. We did the Horseback at Half Moon Cay, short but real fun, it was our best excursion.
One final thing, Carnival does not seem to care about the elderly/disabled, and I am surprised people did not have sun stroke waiting for the boat back to the ship from the private island, it was ridiculous. They are cheap with the water and drinks, and are in placed in strategic locations, so that you resort to buying sodas/alcohol instead. I started dreaming about nice cold water bottles, as cold water is a luxury on the ship! I suggest bringing a case of water if you go, It was the first thing I bought when I got home. Overall we had fun, just be prepared for the nickel and diming and watch out for nasty Jake at the excursion desk, and definitely try the pizza!