I honestly don't know where to begin to explain how wonderful this cruising experience was. From embarkation to debarkation everything was basically.....perfect! Being VIP we checked in at a separate desk and then were escorted to a separate are where we were to wait for further instructions. Once the ship was cleared (and cleaned) we were escorted onto the ship before everyone else. When you enter the ship, it is, in fact, as all other reviews have stated, very PINK. I am not sure whether it was because I had already read so much about it or what, but I actually thought the ship and the decoration style was gorgeous! When the founding executives of Carnival decided to give the line the trademark "fun ship" name, they really had some incredible insight into the future because on a Carnival ship it is almost impossible to not have fun! Plain and simple, there is always something to do, somewhere, and for all different ages, and then there are places for those people who want to do nothing but relax. The Carnival Splendor was a perfect ship for all of the above.
The dining experience on the Splendor was nothing other than spectacular. There was not one dish, appetizer, entrEe, dessert that wasn't simply incredible. The other venues for eating, The Grille, the Deli, the Rotisserie, the Lido Buffet and the pizza were all outstanding. The service in all of these eating venues were fantastic. In fact, all the service personnel on the ship were extremely friendly, always offering good wishes for your day, and always with a smile. They were professionals to the max! Our dining room attendant, Leo at the Black Pearl Restaurant, was apparently a very seasoned and expert head waiter because he was always extremely attentive to every detail of our tastes and preferences and was also very personable and had a warm, funny nature. He was fantastic.
The shows were mostly very good with a few exceptions, but the definite "must not miss" is Vroom. I am not the kind of person who enjoys these Las Vegas type shows, and I went to most of these because I was traveling alone with my husband and did not want to stay by myself elsewhere, but even I have to admit that Vroom is, in fact, as rated, the best show on any cruise line. Up until this moment, I had not witnessed such an outburst of applause and standing ovations as I saw for this particular show. It is not to be missed.
We had an inside cabin on the 10th deck. It was a spa cabin, so we had unlimited access to the spa, the thylossotherapy pool and all the special rooms. It was quite an experience and we took full advantage of the "unlimited access" and used it every day, either in the mornings on the day at sea, or in the afternoons, after we returned from port. After you have walked a few hours in the sun, the pool and the steams and saunas were heaven-sent! Given a choice, I would never book anything else on a Carnival ship that offered these spa cabins. Our cabin steward, Appollo, was fantastic. In fact, fantastic is a very small word to describe him. He was constantly attentive to our every needs, always asking us if we needed anything, making sure we had ice, towels, pillows and was always looking out for our bags of laundry (a VIP perk). In the afternoons, he would bring it back all clean and folded. With the exception of our last day, we always had a bag ready for him daily to wash and fold. Marvelous cabin, marvelous attendant. Cabin had a very comfortable bed, lots of closet and drawer space, all nice and new and very pretty decorated.
Again, our experience on the Splendor (as in all other Carnival ships we have sailed on) was fabulous. An all-around fantastic cruise, cruise line, crew and staff. So much so, while on board, we booked a future sailing on the Carnival Dream for 2010! Carnival has not disappointed me yet on my cruising experience and I don't expect it ever will.
The casino host and attendants, as well as all the table dealers were all very friendly and genuinely happy to see people winning, (when we won)!