Let me first say that I was very apprehensive about taking this cruise. My husband and I are in our mid 50's and I was taking my parents who are in their late seventies. The only other cruise we took in the past was with Holland America to Bermuda and it was a very lovely time. The impression I always got from a Carnival cruise was that it was a huge party ship with people that were crazy, drunk 24/7, and loud so I never had an interest in booking a cruise with Carnival. My daughter and son-in-law went on this cruise at the beginning of May. They came back and said what a wonderful time they had and that we really should try it. Because we live in Connecticut about a little over an hour from New York City we decided let's give it a try.
Clearly the decor of the Carnival Splendor is not to my taste however, as the week went on I got used to it. We had a balcony stateroom which also was a Cloud 9 room so we were able to access the spa at any time. The Cloud 9 spa saunas and More
warming rooms and whirlpool were just amazing. My husband who is a cheap accountant didn't want two spend extra money for the room but at the end of the trip he said it was well worth the money because he enjoyed the spa so much. And he normally is not one who wants to go to a spa.
I don't understand the people who are complaining about the food. There was always something for everyone. If you couldn't find anything that you liked, maybe it was because you weren't looking hard enough. When we ate dinner at the Black Pearl, there was always a set menu plus an additional daily menu. For lunch when you ate on the Lido area of the buffet you also could go to the aft of the ship and have deli sandwiches which included wraps, panini, etc.. Or you could go to the Tandoori line were they had lovely Indian food. The lines were never really horrible, you would probably be fed within 10 minutes. The only thing I ever saw that had a big line was the Mongolian wok. My husband had to wait about 20 minutes but then again you have all day to eat so what's the big deal?
We stayed at the aft pool for most of the day or we went to one of the other decks to just lie in the sun. We also went to the Serenity deck one afternoon which was lovely also. You could do as much or as little as you wanted. My parents who are in their late 70's went around the deck, laid out in the Sun a little bit, read on their balcony, and basically were able to fill their day. We briefly went to the casino 1 night which was nice however it really was terrible that Carnival lets everybody smoke in there. You stink when you leave.
The entertainment in the theater was very good.I would say that the lead woman singer was a better singer than the man however who knows why they choose the singers. I believe his name was Derek and he was a little stiff. The woman, I think Allison had a real theatrical voice and stage presence. The dancers were very talented.
The outside talent that they hired were fabulous. The first guy was a juggler/comedian who was fantastic.He was a semi-finalist on America's Got Talent and he was very entertaining. The other person I remember his name was Marcus Anthony and in the beginning I thought he was kind of a lounge lizard but his show ended up being really good doing many songs from Motown. We saw three family friendly comedy shows and 1 adult comedy show. The comedian that we saw at the adult show we also saw the family friendly show and he was much better at the family friendly show. Saying f*** every 4th word does not automatically mean the content is funny. Maybe Canival needs to rethink putting in more family friendly shows?
THe staff were incredibly hard working, polite, and did whatever they could to make you happy. They make it a point to know your name and address you by it. They are well trained, and their efficiency shows. Their customer service was evident.
My only complaints were:
1. The line to get drinks at the buffet was not placed correctly because people can't get by because it is in a major area getting to both ends of the pool. Both passengers and service people are trying to get through the same area were people are standing and self serving their drinks. 2. The pools were a little small to accommodate up to 3600 guests, however the pools were always clean and they always pumped the water in fresh about every other day. At least the aft pool was. I don't know about the pool in the front of the boat or the one in the main Lido area. I laughed when I saw a review that a person complained because it was salt water. How silly. Why would they put fresh water in the pool when they can just pump it in from the ocean?
Our first stop was Grand Turk. The beach was nice but a little rocky but they were chairs for everybody to lie in the Sun. Or if you wanted to lie in the shade you could do that too because they were plenty of palm trees. Many people went through the shopping area to get to Margaritaville to go to the pool. I walked over there and it was a crowded mess. The second stop was at the Carnival private island on Half Moon Cay. It was beautiful! The water was gorgeous, the barbecue was a little crazy, but it goes with the territory. The third stop was in Nassau and we went off the ship for about an hour to walk around the town and my parents took a trip to the Arawak gardens and zoo. They liked the excursion and it was good for them to see Nassau since they had never been there. My husband and I went back to the ship after our 1 hour walk around town and it was lovely to be able to do anything on the ship that you wanted too because it wasn't very crowded.
All-in-all we had a very nice time and we would probably try Carnival again. Less