Enjoyable and value for money - You get what you pay for: Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by WarmWaters
Overall Member Rating
Enjoyable and value for money - You get what you pay for
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Barff bags were no where to be found, I thought that was strange. On a previous cruise we encoutered rough seas as well and Princess had bags very visible in public areas. Needless to say twice I didn't make it to the bathroom and made a mess but with no bag what can you do? After that I asked for a bag while in the spa section, and they gave me a spa gift shop empty bag and on most sea days when I was feeling queasy I walked around the ship with my little spa bag, just in case I need to use it.
The buffet food was good, no More complaints - as many have said here, you will not go hungry in fact you might pick up weight on the Splendor easily.
We did see long line ups in the buffet and yet the ship was not near full as they many a time close off sections of the buffet for no good reason during busy times. We have been in the buffet in a line up for 20 mins waiting to be served in the stir fry area and others have waited longer there.
I did noticed that in the buffet a few times I got totally ignored by the staff that is supposed to serve you things like bacon or cheesecake, so its not a true buffet in the sense of the word where you help yourself to most of the items. I did find some staff members ignoring me while chatting with a fellow crew member in the buffet. This did bother me a lot on this cruise. I would much rather prefer to help myself than to be ignored for a couple of minutes by a no care attitude buffet staff member.
The shows at night were very good, with Vroom being the best. The dancers and the technical production of the shows on this ship was better than what I experienced on Royal Caribbean and Princess.There were not alot of entertainment onboard compared to previous cruises we were on.
I wish I knew what digital scavenger hunts meant , as we saw it advertised in the Capers but there was no explanation of it . After being back from the cruise, I read elsewhere that it sounds like a lot of fun, as it involves you bringing your digital camera and you take pictures of items onboard of passengers or crew doing different things - for example, to find a security guard and get a picture of him/her smiling.
We didn't care at all for the second comedian on his last performance, the one that was just after the Quest game show. We thought his show was really poor and very odd. Avoid it if you can, it was a total waste of our late night time.
Its too bad that they allow smoking in the piano bar, we heard really good things about Ron, the piano player, but the overwhelming smoke in there forced us to stay away. I think Carnival should change their policy on smoking on the ship. There was a lot of smoke smell in some of the public areas, which is a shame.
Dining room service and food was great. I agree some of the deserts are not that great. I was disappointed with the baked Alaska, don't order it, it was very bad.
Our room stewards were friendly and our room was in great shape all the time with many towel animals. The spa perks, slippers and a nice bathrobe and extra toiletries made it specail for us. We used the spa area on the ship a lot as it was a nice perk. Our balcony saw a lot of use as well although this cruise was cold. Only one day at sea we laid in the sun with all our long sleeve clothes on. It was cold for the most parts. I wore my scarf on land most days. Bring a cheap rain poncho, it came in very handy.
It was our 1st Carnival cruise. My impression of the ship and Carnival is : you get what you pay for ! In many ways its not Royal Caribbean but then again we had the choice to sail on the Mariner as it does the very same itinerary and yet the Mariner was so much more money. The Splendor was very good value for money overall. Carnival makes it possible for the masses to enjoy a cruise at affordable prices.
Staff in general were friendly when we encountered them in hallways and public areas and at the pursers desk.
All in all a good cruise but if rough seas are not your thing and you don't like cold rainy overcast port days, then think twice before going.
All 3 ports were nice to us, it was a big disappointment that we ended up with that 3 ports as we have been there many times where the Mexico destinations would have been all new to us. Yet still we made peace with the revised itin and decided to make the most of it and we walked a lot and had a good time. Bring lots of warm clothes and a hoody, out on the decks its windy and miserably cold.
Embarcation - there was a long line up. I thought if they had iced water with lemon or bottled water available to serve us while waiting in line to be checked in, would have been a nice gesture. We have had that with previous cruises and I missed that touch.
I was disappointed with the sailaway out of Longbeach. We were huddled in a windy gangway with no view of the ocean, a lot of people showed up in short sleeves and were freezing cold soon after. While standing there like cattle waiting for the muster drill to be over we felt the ship moving and we were well on our way by the time we finally got out of that muster drill. It was the start of our cruise and I was very disappointed as I am used to being on the upper decks when the ship starts moving with music playing and a festive atmosphere onboard with sail away. Not on this cruise ! Not sure while Carnival did it this way, it was indeed a very bad guest experience for us.
About the onboard decor - have an open mind - there are a lot of miss matched patterns and colors and textures everywhere. Most people we have encountered didn't like it - it seems most things does not blend in well with the combinations in which they did it. It was odd to us that they spend so much money and yet the overall effect is not that great. So be prepared for some really odd decor onboard.
All in all, we had a good time and it was value for money.
We will sail Carnival again.