Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by cruisin' cat: Carnival Splendor - Northern Europe
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Carnival Splendor - Northern Europe
Embarkation in Dover was smooth. We discovered upon arrival at the terminal a credit card missing. The staff went out of their way to help us in calling the Dover hotel, to no avail. Once on board the Purser immediately called our Credit Card Company so we could cancel it. Not a great way to start a cruise, but fortunately all was OK thanks to quick responses from the staff. Aboard ship, we were not offended by the decor as others have noted. Yes it is Pink, but in some ways more elegant than the more garish, in your face Freedom decor. Getting around the ship is also somewhat confusing, but that is sometimes half the fun as you discover something new when you get "lost." Unfortunately the Sports & Piano bars were smoking areas so we couldn't frequent them. Laundry facilities are sparse, definitely more needed, especially for a 12 day cruise. On sea days people were lined up in the hallway to use the one facility on the 7th deck and other on the 9th deck. I felt sorry for More
passengers with cabins anywhere near the laundry. On another front, we were fortunate that the weather was very good, which in the Baltic is mostly iffy. The tour in Tallinn was a waste. We could have walked into town and seen as much. The other tours in St Petersburg and Berlin were great although very pricey. Our guides were knowledgeable & we definitely got a full day's worth on each tour. In all the other ports we ventured out on our own and had a great time. The canal boats in Copenhagen and Amsterdam are the way to go. Helsinki was easy to navigate too. Take the shuttle right on the pier into town. We then did a guided sightseeing bus from the drop-off point. Saved a bunch and had more free time to walk around.
Back to rating the Ship, the food was good and we easily changed our dining room and seating. We were originally assigned to the "Golden Pearl" at a table for two, which isn't much fun when you've been married over 30 years and heard each others stories a bazillion times. The "fried eggs" were plastic images meant to look like pearls in oyster shells, but really did look like... well you get the picture. Our new table was right by a window, which is where you want to be to enjoy the late sunsets. We loved the shows, especially Vrooom. We met the family of one of the dancers and it made watching her perform that much more special. Chris the violinist was especially entertaining, weaving a story between playing. Overall, we found all of the servers, staff and crew to be attentive, courteous, helpful and obliging when they could.
Our major issue could not be resolved by anyone on board. That responsibility belonged to the actual designers and builders of the Splendor. Our center aft cabin, which we loved for the extended rear balcony, was right above the El Morocco Lounge, which played live music each night until 1 a.m. There seemed to be no sound buffer at all. Having early a.m. tours, hitting the sheets by 11 p.m. seemed desirable, however not possible. Each night I lodged my complaint to the Purser and even had the night Housekeeping manager visit the cabin to hear the problem, which she acknowledged. Another passenger I spoke with also had noise concerns. His family had 2 cabins also on the Upper Deck (level 6) right above the Casino. It was open until 2 a.m. and all his family was sleep deprived too. While Carnival did provide a credit on our bill, I want to for-warn other Splendor travelers of the noise issues especially on deck 6 aft or mid-ship or any cabins near the atrium area on any deck. Too bad some of those millions spent to build this ship weren't spent insuring a good night's sleep for their paying passengers.
Overall, we enjoyed the ship, the ports, the food, the service and the shows. Just more sleep, more laundry rooms and fewer smoking areas would have made it an excellent versus an average experience. Less
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