Dining: Lunches were fine, buffet has plenty to offer. The Asian grill was very bland. The rotisserie was excellent. Burgers were great. Lunch was satisfactory because there was plenty to choose from. Has Carnival trimmed their dinner menu? We were on Carnival Legend in July but the menu in Black Pearl seemed so much smaller and not nearly the selection from just a few months ago. Food was okay, but not great. Desserts were slim picking. Our waiter learned our names the first night and used them each night. I do appreciate waiters getting to know names. The Black Pearl dining room was hideous. The ceiling was decorated with what looked like fried eggs with black yolks-everywhere. More than me mentioned this. I overheard one person say they felt like burnt fried eggs were staring at them. UGLY!!! I know they are supposed to be black pearls, but -. Room service menu was very limited, only a few sandwiches to choose from. We ordered a couple of times late night, and my BLT was always overdone. DRINKS were a royal rip off. I don't cruise to get drunk, but the daily specials had NO liquor. I stopped buying them and this was the lowest on board bill I have ever had. I don't know why, but half of everything was always closed, lunch buffet, the second bar on deck was closed even on New Year's Eve. The ship was sold out supposedly.
Shopping: There were two small shops. Don't they realize people go to spend money?
Pools and decks: This definitely is not your typical ship design. All the others I have been on are tiered to allow for lying in the sun. Splendor, the main pool, which is very small, is three tiers high, but the top deck overhangs the second making it seem very enclosed, even when the roof is open. The pools were very small and empty too often. If you cruise for the pools and the sun, Splendor is not the ship for you. Guess New Years Eve caught the staff off guard. There were no seats on deck, but then it is a very small deck area. There was a constant stream of people dragging chairs from the Lido Grill and trying to find a place to put them on deck. They were selling bottles of champagne for midnight. Reading other ship's reviews, they gave out champagne. I thought it was a little tacky at the time, now I am convinced it was. Sell a bottle if you want more, but make it a New Year's Party for Pete's sake. Forego the Captain's Party and give out champagne on New Years. However, it was cool that we had New Years twice.
Spa: Exceptional, especially the bamboo massage. I really couldn't tell we had a private entrance; anybody could have gotten in and probably did because of the "wrist band" bad idea, so I felt a little cheated.
Sorry it sounds like I painted a rather dull picture of Splendor. Like I said earlier, any week on a cruise is better than a week at work, but the Splendor just didn't do it for me. Here is my word of advice, if you go for sun and pools, you will be dreadfully disappointed with Splendor. Splendor's design, maybe given an interior makeover, would do well in Alaska. I know there is a niche for Splendor, Carnival just hasn't found the right way to market it yet. For nearly 5 grand, I was disappointed. I really wish I had gone on Solstice.