This was my first cruise, a family reunion cruise with a group of 16 family and friends. 9 of us traveled together from Virginia the day before and spent the night in Ormond Beach before driving the rest of the way to Fort Lauderdale.
Embarkation took some time but wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, considering how many people there must've been (not only for the Splendor but the other ships in port). We got to the port, in a long line of cars, around 12:40 and we were in our cabins by 2:15.
The muster drill didn't take long either, probably only 15 minutes.
I had read prior reviews on the Splendor so I knew about all the pink. It was a lot of pink, but I didn't mind it at all. The only thing was there were pink circles on the doors and every time I saw them, I thought of Homer Simpson donuts! But truly, I enjoyed all the decor, from the lobby and the Lido to the dining room and different clubs.
The food was great. I ate a lot of pizza and cheeseburgers (SO yummy) and the dining room had good food too. I'm a picky eater but managed to always find something to eat. I must've had the warm chocolate melting cake for dessert four or five times - it was so good!
The staff was amazing. My room steward, Jonathan, always greeted me by name and made the cutest little towel animals. Our waiter in the Gold Pearl, Inyoman (not sure on the spelling, but he pronounced it "yo-man!") was hilarious and always made funny sounds when he'd give me my menu or put a napkin on my lap. My dad really loved him because on the first formal night, my dad ordered lobster. Inyoman in total gave him three, but only after my dad said that was enough. The rest of the crew, whenever I passed room stewards in the hallway or someone on the Lido deck took my dishes, always greeted me with a smile.
I had a massage in the Spa. I never had a massage before, so my sister-in-law and I did a couples Swedish massage. It was amazing. It was expensive, but so worth the relaxation!
While things were great, I did have a couple of issues. One was the "singles meet." I went to the first one, but was so disappointed that I never went to another one. I was expecting an organized event with games or activities to get to know other singles. That was not the case. They just played music in the club and there was no indication it was actually a singles event. No announcement or anything. One guy say next to me but he was more introverted than I was (and I'm pretty introverted) and after trying to strike up a conversation with little success, I left. Another issue was that I like to ballroom dance. I kept hearing music that I could foxtrot or salsa or swing to, but being a ballroom dancer without a partner is a challenge in that respect. I know other cruise lines cater more to that kind of dancing, and that will be something I look into when I cruise in the future.
The stateroom is okay. I shared it with two of my girlfriends, which makes it a little hard since it's such a small space. There were two twin beds with one upper, but could fit up to four (not sure how though!) However we did manage to unpack all our things into the closets and drawers (even with one of the girls who had brought a lot of dresses!) so I was pleased with that. The disadvantage was that we were in the forward, only one room in front of us in the hallway. I could definitely feel the ship move a lot more than the others in our group who were in cabins in the middle of the ship. It woke me up some night, but thankfully I never got seasick.
The ports were great. I booked all of the excursions through Carnival. In San Juan, I did the Night Life tour. My only wish was that we could've seen San Juan up close in the day. St. Thomas was beautiful, and I went snorkeling (first time) with my brother and sister-in-law. I'd love to go snorkeling again! I didn't actually see La Romana as I did the horseback riding in the Casa de Campo resort, but it was a fun excursion and the resort was beautiful. My favorite excursion had to be the Segway tour in Nassau, though. I never had so much fun! I wish I had a Segway of my own :)
Debarkation went pretty smoothly. We were originally planning to self-assist since we were driving back to Virginia without stopping (ended up back home at 3am) but we ended up doing the general debarkation. I think they called our zone around 9 or 9:30, and we were out of there by 10am. There were no problems and it was really smooth considering how many people were getting off that ship!
All in all, I had a great trip. I wish I could've stayed on the ship, but unfortunately I couldn't afford to stay on and go to South America for 49 days ;) I wouldn't mind going Carnival again, but I think I may try other cruise lines first. Carnival is definitely the "fun ship" which seems geared more toward party people. While I like to have fun, it didn't have many quiet/relaxing places - it seemed pretty loud everywhere.