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Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by nunuc2000

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Carnival Splendor
Carnival Splendor
Member Name: nunuc2000
Cruise Date: April 2009
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Cabin Category: 4f
Cabin Number: 8298
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Carnival Splendor Cruise Reviews | Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews | Carnival Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 5.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children (By Age Group)
        3-6 4.0
        7-9 4.0
        10-12 3.0
        13-15 5+
        16+ 5+
Shore Excursions 3.0
Embarkation 4.0
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 5.0
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Ship Facts: Carnival Splendor Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Splendor Deck Plans
Had a fabulous time on our Easter Cruise
Howdy! I'm still awfully tired today, but I wanted to try and get a review posted to help out anyone sailing soon that wanted more info. I'll try and keep this organized, but please forgive me if there any grammatical or spelling errors, etc. And please forgive the excessive length... I get on a roll and I can't seem to stop writing!!

By the way... when we booked our Splendor Cruise, we thought "Well, it probably won't measure up to cruising with Princess, but it's a cruise, and any cruise should be pretty good, and we got a really good deal and it fits with our schedule." I stand corrected... it was every bit as good as our Princess cruise, and in some respects even better!! I wouldn't hesitate to book Carnival again in a heartbeat!!

There were 9 of us in two families, consisting of 2 married couples and 5 kids, including one girl 11 yrs, and 4 boys 16 yrs, 15 yrs, 8 yrs and 6 yrs. We sailed on the Splendor April 12-19, and stayed in 4 rooms, all insides: 8298, 8294, 8290 and 8286 - Verandah Deck.

Our trip started in Calgary the day before the cruise where we had arranged for a van service to take all 9 of us to YYC Airport. The flight was great but why wouldn't it be - WestJet is always great. :) Arrived at LAX at 3:00pm on Saturday, retrieved our luggage and promptly found the Supershuttle rep we had arranged for in advance. It took 30 minutes to get to the Queen Mary Hotel next to the cruise terminal, and check-in was quick and easy. We booked two adjoining family suites on the Queen Mary and it worked out very well for our two families!! The ship's furnishings and dEcor is dated as others have stated, but that's EXACTLY what we were expecting from an 80 yr old ship!! It was clean, fun, and comfortable... and no, unfortunately we didn't get to observe any ghostly activity. :(

We used the free Long Beach "Passport Shuttle Bus" to take us to Bubba Gump's for a great seafood dinner, then hopped on again to head down to 6th street where we purchased several bottles of wine to bring on board the Splendor. The Passport system is an excellent way of making your way around the pier and downtown area of Long Beach - just ask the driver when getting on for directions or suggestions on where to go for shopping and dining. One thing to keep in mind - when we returned to the Queen Mary for the evening, our bags of wine were not "concealed"... the doormen have no problem with it, but if security sees you carrying alcohol or food of any kind onto the Queen Mary, he will stop you and tell you you'll have to dispose of it! Yikes!! That happened to us, but then the really sweet doorman offered to hold it all overnight in a special storage room beside the entrance - when we followed him in there to place it there for "safekeeping", he said "2 of you come back in a minute and I'll have it all sitting inside boxes you can take up to your rooms for the night, but just make sure security don't see you... we hotel staff don't care, it's the security staff causing all the fuss". Now before anyone starts flaming me, this wine was LEGAL wine, meaning Carnival allows guests to bring wine on board, so don't get your knickers all in bunch. :)

Anyway, after spending a fun night exploring the Queen Mary - and draining one bottle of vino of the many we brought - we woke up to see the Splendor docking on the other side of the cruise terminal dome. We left our rooms but didn't check out yet, and made our way over to the dome for early check-in service - and it's over by the dome, NOT right at the Queen Mary like we were first told by Queen Mary staff - and at 9:30 in the morning there was NOBODY in line!! It was fast and smooth, and 3 minutes later we had our S&S cards and we were done! We head back to the Queen Mary for breakfast, stuffed our wine in our checked luggage and carry-on's, and then checked out. We headed back to the terminal to deposit our luggage for delivery to the Splendor, then we sat and waited in our "Zone 1" area, and then we watched the people start to arrive... and wowie did they ever arrive!! By 1pm there had to be about 1000 people in line for check-in, and another thousand or so waiting who had already passed through the check-in lanes! It was insane!! At 1:20 they announced VIP's and Zone 1, and then we were entering the terminal. We went through a couple more check stops to look at S&S cards, went through the "welcome aboard" photo op, and by 1:40 we were in on the Lido deck enjoying lunch!! Time to start vacation!! :)

From here I'll try and make it more of a "check-list" style review... it's easier for me to keep everything organized in my mind:

DEcor - Okay, so people are right... the Splendor is very pink. As one previous poster had stated, it really DOES look it was decorated by Dr Seuss on an acid trip. When we boarded and started exploring after lunch, it seemed like they could didn't decide which pattern to go with for decorating, so they just went with them all!!! But honestly, it grows on you! After the second day, we were quite accustomed to it. The rooms are still quite muted in comparison, as are the outside decks. It's the dining rooms, bars, buffets and lobby's that pretty wild.

Muster Drill - This is one area in which I was very disappointed when comparing to the drill on the Princess ship. We were called to our muster points for 5:15 and they began lining us up 4 deep and tucked in very tightly next to each other. But it wasn't until about 5:45 that everyone finally arrived and they finally started the actual drill. The staff members demonstrating the correct way to wear our life jackets, etc were standing in front of the crowd. Being only 5'2", I couldn't see ANYTHING, and I only had one line of people in front of me. I'm assuming most people in the rows behind us couldn't see either, and the children definitely couldn't see anything either. They repeated everything several times, then had us remove our life jackets, while standing that close to one another - I felt a little like I was in a mosh pit and the music hadn't even started yet! We continued to stand there until about 6:10, at which time we were finally given the announcement that we could return to our rooms. Once the line of people in front of me cleared out, we could see that we had already sailed... they departed at 6:00 and no one got to see sail-away due to the muster drill. I was not impressed with that. On the Caribbean Princess everyone was assigned to muster in different lounges, dining rooms and the main theatre and everyone was able to sit in order to properly see the demonstration.

Staterooms - as mentioned earlier, we had 4 inside rooms on Verandah deck 8. 8286 for one of the dads and the two younger boys set up with two singles and one drop down bed, 8290 for the other mom and her daughter, 8294 for my 2 teen sons and 8298 for DH and I. The rooms were efficient and clean, about the same size as our Princess Cruise inside room, but the bathrooms were actually a little bigger - I was able to shave my legs in the shower stall without having to turn off the water and put a foot out on the toilet seat!! LOL!! The vanity area was also big enough for DH and I to stand side by side while getting ready in the mornings. The shower has a removable showerhead for convenience, and a double dispenser - one for shower gel and one for shampoo. Having previously read about the shampoo not being great, we brought our own, but we used the shower gel and that was fine. The amenities bowl had Zycam (cold remedy), Pepcid AC (heartburn), his and hers bic razors, a 4-pack sampler of Crest toothpaste, bar soap, and I think something else... but I can't recall now. There was also a double sided mirror that extends from the wall, and plenty of storage space on glass shelves. The main desk area had a hairdryer in one of the drawers... not very powerful though. One plug-in on the desk next to the phone, and across from the desk was the mini-fridge and safe beside the storage closets. Our son's mini-fridge was locked for the entire cruise, and we just didn't touch ours - it was stocked with a variety of pops and airplane bottles of booze. 1.5 litre bottles of water in the room were $3.95 if you cracked them open, which we didn't. The beds were comfortable and had both bottom and top sheets... that might sound weird, but on Princess they put top sheets on the beds. Lots of comfy pillows and a nice flat screen tv. We had pre-ordered a bar set-up for our room a couple weeks in advance of sailing, and I'm really glad we did. We ordered a 1 litre bottle each of the white rum and the Captain Morgan's Spiced rum, and it was waiting with a bow on top of the fridge cabinet when we got to our rooms after lunch on embarkation day. Our room steward, Albertus, was in our hallway waiting to greet us and ask if we had any special requests or needs for our cruise - we asked for fresh glasses and ice, and each day it was always there. He was really fantastic!! Everything was always perfect in all of our rooms, and he was good about not commenting on the smell emanating from my teen sons' room - my boys worked out in the gym and played a fair bit of basketball, so it wasn't always as fresh smelling in there as it could have been. :) He always knew all 9 of our names and was fantastic at entertaining the kids with the towel-art creations.

**One thing to note about our stateroom location - we were directly below the Lido Deck Pool Bar area, and on three of the nights the deck party noise was actually quite loud. Now, we are all generally pretty good sleepers, and the gentle rocking on a cruise ship helps in that area, so we did manage to fall asleep long before the partying upstairs was over, but for lighter sleepers, that location could be an issue. I think if we were booking this cruise again, we would definitely try to book one level lower so that we would be 'sandwiched" between staterooms instead of having a public area above or below.

Entertainment & Activities - We only went to the VROOMMM show in the Spectacular Lounge, which we all thought was excellent!! The bingo wasn't as good as on Princess, though - it's a little odd the way they play one game for $20 for a triple card, then 2 games the next day, and so on... we just didn't think it had the same value as on Princess, but some folks might like it this way better. The casino seemed well stocked with a variety of machines and tables, and the Texas Hold'em table was ALWAYS completely full!! We only played slots a couple times as it was quite smoky in the Casino, but we only lost $10... not bad! J Ron Pass in the Grand Piano Bar was fabulous!! Apparently he played "Oh Canada" for our little group... but that was Monday night, and Monday night is a wee bit fuzzy for me ;) But none the less, we returned there several nights and always had fun. My only complaint about that place is that it's one of many places on the ship that allow smoking... we were sitting right up at the revolving piano having fun, singing along with Ron, and then smokers would show up and sit right beside us and light up one after another, after another... yuck. It prevented us from staying later and coming back on a couple of occasions... Sorry Ron, we would have stayed all night to listen to you otherwise!! Unfortunately, it was the same thing in the Sports Bar, but even worse. I'm not going to get up on anti-smoking soap box, I just think it would be preferable to see a smoking lounge for those who wish to light up, and leave the general areas as non-smoking. The worst part was that the kids had to go through the smoky casino to get to the O2 Club - I didn't think that was very good planning at all when they were designing the ship. We enjoyed having the big screen on the Lido deck for the music and concerts when were just hanging out by the pool and playing cards, but we never did get around to watching any of the movies at night.

Shops on the ship - There were only a couple of shops on the ship, but they were fairly well stocked with some nice items, including duty free fragrances, jewelry and lots of clothing and souvenirs. I don't generally shop on board, so I didn't pay too much attention to the items available, but I was pleased to see one of the shops had necessities like toothbrushes, batteries, etc. And the "Yes, everything is $10!!" shop area was neat... some good bargains to be had for costume jewelry, purses watches and scarves. I did notice that some of the alcohol prices in the duty free section were amazing!! Like a 3 litre bottle of Grey Goose for $54!!! WOW!!! So pay attention to the prices in ports vs on board if you're looking for good deal on the liquor.

Dining & Beverages - Surprisingly, we found the food on the Splendor to be on par with the food on the Caribbean Princess. We were assigned to our own table for 9 (early seating 6pm, table #188) for our group in the very middle of the main floor in the Black Pearl, and we couldn't have asked for a better location!! There was always plenty of variety on the menus and it was always served at the appropriate temperature. One of my favorites was chilled asparagus soup that was the best I've ever had! I really enjoyed the fish dishes, and I think those helped to keep my weight gain down to just 2 pounds for the week!! Woohooo!!! We had Desi as our head waitress, and she was absolutely wonderful!! Her service is impeccable!! Assisting her was Seto, a quiet but charming man, and Svetlana, our beverage waitress who always knew precisely when to open the wine and let it breath. All of them were amazingly patient with our group and really knew how to cater to the kids too. The dancing and singing between the entrEe and dessert courses was a little tacky in my opinion, but somehow on Carnival it didn't really seem that out of place. The food at the various buffets was also quite good, but the lineups at the stir-fry/Mongolian grill were a bit too long in my opinion. I really enjoyed the hummus and nan bread at the Tandoori grill. We never ordered room service, so I can't comment on that. The DOD's, or Drinks of the Day, were very good! Pricey, but tasty and definitely not lean on the alcohol content! All of the bartenders and roving waiters were very friendly and seemed genuinely happy, with the exception of the bartender in the Sports Bar ("Our House") - he was downright depressing, and not terribly friendly when we asked him if he would be able to tune in a playoff hockey game on one of the tv's for us - he couldn't, by the way... something to do with not being able to re-align the satellite system.

Kids Clubs - Camp Carnival had their work cut out for them on this cruise - there were over 1200 kids on board, and though we saw a lot of kids, I wouldn't have guessed there were that many, so I think Camp Carnival must have been doing a very good job! The family we were traveling with had their three kids enrolled in the younger clubs (9-11 for the girl and 6-8 for the 2 boys) and the kids were happy enough with it but often preferred to spend family time with mom and dad. They liked the idea that they could drop-in for various activities and pick and choose when they would go. My two boys however, were seldom seen with the exception of mandatory dinners at night!! The O2 club director, Ashley, made a VERY big impression on them!! While they were initially reluctant to even go in there the first night for the "welcome party", I told them they had to at least give it an honest try. Well... they have now declared that this was the best of all the vacations they have ever been on in their lives, and they've been on quite a few!! Most nights they didn't return to their rooms until after 2 or 3 in the morning, and I honestly wouldn't see them except for going in to port together and every supper. They had an absolute blast!! I trust my boys to make good decisions and to always be respectful, and they didn't disappoint me... they are leaders and role models in their peer groups back home, and they managed to have a great time while still being good kids. I know teenagers get a bad rap on these cruises, but I know my kids and the ones they were hanging out with were well behaved and respectful of others. They exchanged info and now they're constantly IM'ing and Facebooking together too... I'm sure I'm going to get a request for another cruise that they will all be trying to talk their parents into booking to hook them all up again! :)

Security - It appeared that security on the ship was very well handled. We had to call at 11:30 the first night due to the blaring music and partying going on in the room across from ours - 4 young guys were sharing a room and making sure the whole corridor was aware they were there to PARTY!! Security was at their door within 3 minutes, and upon waking the next morning, we had a note from the head of passenger services apologizing for the inconvenience and assuring us the matter was handled and not to hesitate calling again if there were anymore issues. We didn't hear peep from that group for the rest of the cruise - they did the rest of their partying in the dance club and bars, which is where it should be late at night. Security was also present around other areas of the ship, including by the adult aft pool and hot tub area. On our first sea day, we observed a teen of about 15 or 16 climb into one of the hot tubs - security chatted briefly and he stayed in the hot tub for about 20 minutes but was behaving like an adult - I had absolutely no problems with that. About an hour or so later, two younger kids, 9 or 10, climbed in, and security asked them to immediately climb out - again, I thought the response was appropriate... in my opinion they were a little too young to hang out in there. We also saw security walking around the bar areas, and the teen club too... just keeping an eye on things, making certain everyone knew they were present but not putting a damper on anything.

Gym, Pools and Sports - The running/walking track on the Splendor is okay, but we preferred the track on Princess - the Splendor track is just painted on the floor of the deck, whereas the Princess' track is an actual shredded rubber track. The one on the Splendor was quite slick in a lot of spots, and since there was no way for people's feet to feel the difference, and lots of people went up there to sightsee, runners/walkers were CONSTANTLY asking people to move out of the way. It was really annoying for both groups, I think. The Princess track made it very obvious that you don't just saunter all over it - runners are using it. My boys really enjoyed the basketball key-court, and I liked that there was a grandstand area to sit and watch them play. The younger kids had the most fun in the Lido pool, and on our final sea day they closed the glass canopy above the pool so the environment was tropical and warm, unlike the rather chilly breezes blowing on the top decks. The big slide was pretty cool, and I even went on it once!! But the salt water blasting up my nose at mach 3 was enough to prevent me from doing it a second time. Still not sure how the kids can go on it again and again and again, but they loved it!! The mini-golf was a big hit too, with most of our group playing at least 3 or 4 rounds per day. The course is already starting to show wear and tear though... the really thick ropes bordering some of the holes are falling apart and coming unglued. My sons really enjoyed the very well equipped gym, and though my youngest is 15 and technically requires an adult to supervise him there, the staff did not question his age - he's very responsible and mature and both he and his older brother are VERY well versed in the use of state-of-the-art gym equipment thanks to years of football and formal sports performance training back home. Still, just in case there were any concerns, I parked my butt just outside the gym in the tranquil lobby of the spa and read while they worked-out. It was actually very relaxing for me, and probably the most peaceful moments of my vacation... but they came out and said "Gee mom, thanks for sitting here and waiting so patiently in case they wanted to boot me out". Shhh... I won't tell him if you don't!! :) Speaking of the spa... though we didn't use it this time, I did manage to look around a bit while waiting and it looked quite nice. There were so many services to choose from, and I overheard a couple women saying how pleased they were with their treatments.

Serenity Areas - We only took advantage of this area once, but wished we'd been in there even more - the padded loungers were comfy and the solitude away from all the hustle and bustle was quite nice. One thing to note though... one of the serenity areas is right below the mini-golf area... what this means is that the occasional errant shot from above rolls off the golf platform area and drops into the serenity area, sometimes hitting people below. The golf area railing also looks over the serenity area, so that particular area is somewhat noisy due to the kids playing gold just over your shoulders. Just keep an eye out for flying golf balls and kids running down the stairs into the Serenity area to retrieve those golf balls.

Ports & Excursions - Our first port in Puerto Vallarta was the only one where we pre-arranged a Carnival excursion. We did the Discover Scuba at Las Caletas, and I have to say we were somewhat disappointed. My DH had to opt out due to some sinus issues, so it was just my two sons and I, along with two other couples. The boat ride out to Las Caletas along with the other folks going to the Las Caletas Beach Getaway (including my DH and the rest our group) was fun and exactly as I remembered it from a stay we had at an all-inclusive a couple years ago, complete with witty boat staff and a very generously flowing open bar for those not scuba diving. The instructors were great about reviewing everything with us divers, and for my sons and I it was just a refresher as we had all taken an introductory scuba class in Calgary in the last 6 months, complete with full gear in a 14 foot deep scuba pool. For the other two couples, it SHOULD have just been a refresher as they all had previous experience with open water dives, except for the boyfriend in one of the couples. Anyway, once we got our wetsuits on and entered the water, the other two couples really struggled and required a LOT of extra attention and time before they felt comfortable descending below the surface. My sons and I went below first and rested on our knees at 25 feet below for over 15 minutes before the rest of the group finally joined us on the bottom. The instructor assigned to bring them down was obviously as frustrated as we were. When they all finally joined us and we were able to start our "guided tour", the water was quite murky, so visibility wasn't great... 10 feet at most, which was made much worse by the flapping of fins on the sandy bottom from one of the other couples. Grrrrrr... It would have been a better experience if the two instructors had been able to split us up into two groups... one consisting of my sons and myself, and one with the other two couples - as it was, one of the couples bailed 5 minutes into our "tour" and had to be escorted back up to the surface and onto the dock, causing another delay. Once the scuba portion was over and we had stripped off all the gear, we made our way over to the beach area to join the rest of our party and get a late lunch that had been prepared for the diving group. But just 10 minutes into that, the bell began to rang signaling it was time to get back to the catamaran for the return trip to the Splendor. I didn't even get a drink! Lesson learned... in the future we will arrange for a private scuba excursion and not risk being lumped with other who may detract from our own experience. I would also recommend thinking twice about doing scuba diving in those port areas in general - the Caribbean waters are far better for visibility. The rest of our group enjoyed their time at Las Caletas though, and my DH said it was much like it was two years ago, so if you're looking for a beach getaway with snorkeling, lunch and open bar, the Las Caletas Beach Getaway is HIGHLY recommended... just don't do the scuba portion of the excursion.

Our next port was Mazatlan, and while there we ventured out on our own to do some shopping and hit the beach. Because Mazatlan is a shipping port, they will take you on a free shuttle from the ship to the tourist area where you can then take a van or open air golf-cart style taxi into the Golden Zone for about $3 per person each way. Once there, you can hit the bartering stores and walk up to most of the hotels on the beach and ask if you can lounge there for awhile - most will say "Sure amigos... will you be ordering drinks or food while relaxing on our beach?" Say yes, and then they will set up chairs/loungers, umbrellas and send out a waiter to get your orders. On average you can expect to pay about $3-$4 US for a beer or foofoo drink, and $1 for pop or bottled water. The kids played in the water for quite some time while we bartered with literally dozens of beach vendors... got some pretty good deals, too!!

Our final port was Cabo San Lucas, and this is the only one where we tendered instead of docking. The port of Cabo has their own tender boats, so you won't be using the lifeboats from the cruise. We had a leisurely breakfast on Lido deck and were ready to meet in the Spectacular lounge for our tender tickets by 8:45 am. It took no time at all to get on the tender boat and get to the docks. Once there, the other family went on the glass bottom boat tour offered by one of the locals and just loved it!! They paid $40 us for the five of them and felt it was definitely a good price for the value. Our family walked over to the mall at the base of the really big tower, past the Harley-Davidson shop and Hooters. While we're comfortable with bartering with locals, if you aren't, then the mall is the place for you!! Almost as soon as you walk in the giant revolving doors, you'll see a big store with EVERYTHING in it, from clothing and sombreros to hot sauces and liquor of every kind, to tacky souvenirs and typical Mexican artwork and frames for your vacation photos. This is where we bought almost all of our souvenirs from our trip, with really good pricing and no hassles around bartering or feeling like you're not getting the best deal. I don't think we saw tequila any cheaper anywhere else, and in this store they let you taste almost all of them first, along with a store rep there to explain the differences between the different types and brands of the tequilas and rums... that was a GREAT shopping trip!!! :) Tendering back was easy and quick because we didn't wait until the end of the day like some people did. There were some very late tenders coming back to the Splendor and we sailed about 45 minutes later than scheduled because of that.

Debarkation - I hate to end my cruise review on a bad note, so I'll make sure I add one more positive heading after this one, because this one is bad... really bad. The debarkation was a total gong show!! What an absolute disaster!! Carnival has to fix this and soon... or there will be real violence on board. We opted for self-assist debarkation due to the need to get to LAX for a 1:35 pm flight back to Canada. We had been assured by Carnival staff that we would have PLENTY of time to get to the airport in time for our flight if we took the self-assist option. As it was, our final night was not great since all we heard all night was slamming doors, yelling passengers in the hallways, luggage carts hitting the edges of doorways, staff members yelling down corridors, etc. I could have managed with that if end result was good. It wasn't. During the debarkation presentation, we were told that for self assist we would get announcements in the morning telling us which floors could debark and when, and until our floor was called, to remain in our rooms with the doors propped open so we could hear the announcements. Sounds pretty good in theory, doesn't it? When the first announcement was made at about 9:15 am stating decks 11 and 10 self-assist guests could leave, we started seeing droves of people making their way down our corridors with luggage in tow. Keep in mind we're on the 8th floor. After about 15 minutes the voice announces deck 9 self-assist guests can make their way to the elevators. 20 minutes later they finally announce floor 8. By this point, we've seen so many people walk by our doors with their luggage that the 9 of us are practically the last ones left on our floor. As we approach the elevators, we get no closer than about 50 feet down the hall. I squeeze my way over to the elevator area to scout out the situation and see literally hundreds of people and all their luggage all standing about waiting for elevators... elevators that show up on our floor FROM lower floors, heading in the UP direction, totally full of people and luggage... which has to turnaround and come back down again in order to hit the 3rd deck where the disembarking is occurring... which means people were already getting on the elevators from the lower floors, which meant there was NO way we were going make it on any of those elevators in under an hour... seriously. I was fuming. After waiting a full 30 minutes and watching every single elevator arrive on our floor and depart again already full, with not a single person getting on from our floor, we collectively decided to take the stairs down to the 3rd floor, luggage and all, all nine of us, and by the time we reached the 5th floor we finally encountered Carnival staff who told us we weren't supposed to be taking the stairs, along with a couple other dozen fed up passengers who opted to follow us. I very firmly informed him that we had an international flight to catch, and that we were indeed going down the stairs since they had so royally screwed up the elevator process. I also told him that they should have posted an employee at each elevator bank to hold off the passengers from the lower decks who were jumping the gun and causing al the problems starting at the top. Or key off the elevators so they would only go from floor 3 to 11 and back to floor 3 with no stops in between, and then do the same for deck 10, and then 9 and so on. We pressed on and continued to the 3rd floor to find another lineup of people and luggage, but at least this one was moving, if ever so slowly. By this point it was 10:55 and we were getting nervous about making our flight on time. After finally getting through customs and making our way out of the domed terminal building, it was 11:15 am. We were due to check in at LAX airport in exactly 15 minutes, as we were flying "international". I DO NOT like cutting it that close, especially after being assured by Carnival that we actually could have taken the 12:05 flight and still been fine for time. HA! We would have missed that one and Carnival would have done nothing to compensate us for the extra expense of having to pay for a later flight. So when it comes to debarkation, Carnival failed MISERABLY!! If you're flying out the same day you sail back, make sure to allow for a LOT of extra time to make your flight!! Okay... onto the next heading, which as promised, is much more positive.

Travel to LAX from Long Beach, and eventually home - Stepped out of the terminal into that glorious California sunshine and immediately spotted the rep from Supershuttle. We sprinted over to the podium where he was and told him about our reservation and our need to get to LAX in a hurry - he was great!! There happened to be a driver right there who escorted us to his van, loaded us up and had us at the airport in 22 minutes flat! Bravo Supershuttle!!! Nicely Done!!

We were quickly processed through the ticket counter for Westjet, then security, then on to our gate, and then the depressing flight home knowing that our vacation was over and Desi wasn't going to be bringing me a menu that evening. I didn't even get a cappuccino from Seto at my table that night. And it turns out I had to make my own bed the next day!! Oh well... 195 sleeps till our next cruise :)


Publication Date: 04/23/09
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