This is our third cruise on Carnival Ships. We were disapointed with the other ships (Elation & Destiny), but were very excited about our trip on the Splendor. Fearing the worst ( the member reviews of the ship were'nt that positive) we arrived in Long beach for our trip. I can't express how wrong some of the reviewers are, this is a wonderful ship! One thing that jumps out is how large this ship is. It's parked right next to the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The ship is so large, you can put the queen mary inside this ship.
Debarkation- Arrived in Long Beach around 1pm. Lines were long but moved pretty smoothly. Was on the ship by 1:45pm.
Room- We booked a balcony room. The room was larger than any other ship I've been on before. Getting a balcony is worth the extra expense. The balcony is not large (It's 8ft long and 4ft wide- has two chairs and a small table), but big enough for two people to sit comfortably. The room has plenty of storage space and has a queen size bed (It's actually two twins pushed together) and small couch and flat screen interactive TV (you can view you bill, book tours, ect). The bathroon is small, but that is standard on all ships. My only complant regarding the room is the bed is too soft. I actually need a more firm bed.
Housekeeping & Room Steward- They were fantastic. They were very receptive to any request (We asked for pillows & Ice- which they always keep stocked full). they greet you by your name and always seemed to have a sixth sense to know when you leaving for a extended time so they could have the room serviced before you came back.
Ship Appearance- Yes.. the ship has pink all over, but it actually blends well. It's a brand new ship and it looks like it. I've read in the past reviews that the layout is confusing. I find that silly because, first of all, the ship layout is similar to a number of their other fun ships. Second. If you spend 10 seconds looking through the locator guide, you can clearly see the the ship is divided by the galley from the fourth floor below. ( To get to the dining rooms- the Balck Pearl and the Golden Pearl, you need to use elevators located at Front and Aft of the ship to get to the respected dining areas). The Common areas are larger than most ships and are more technically upgraded. Our favorite areas were the Lido pool area (with the 15ft by 22ft HD TV), the serenty deck (Adults only area) and atrium lobby.
Food- The food was good. Some areas it was great, some o.k... The lido buffet offered a wide selection, for instance... You had your normal buffet that changed slightly daily, but then you had a Burrito Bar, Stir Fry Section, Big your own Burger Section, Pizza, ect.... The main dining room was o.k..., I expected better food but the service was great. A must do is the Pinnicle Supper Club. You need to make reservations and the cost is $ 30.00 a person is a bargain for the food quality and service. I had a 20 ox Poterhouse Steak, which is the best steak I've ever tasted, and I've eatten at the best eateries in the world. I highly recommend at least one night at the Pinnicle.
Entertainment- The shows were pretty lam. I may be biased ( My wife and I are theater go-ers)
and I expected a better quality show. The Theater's are beautiful though.. The live bands, well it all depends on your taste in music. There is a huge variety and all of the venues seemed to be popular. the onboard disco, the Red Carpet is state of the art and a good end to the evening.
Spa/Gym- This was my only valid complaint. the gym is small & crowded. The spa.. over priced and private. If you enjoy going to the spa then my suggestion is to book one of the spa rooms on the ship. That gives you membership to use the stream rooms and therma spas at free of charge. These are available to others at a $ 130.00 weekly fee which I was unwilling to pay.
Destinations- The ship stoped in Puerto Vallerta, Mazatlan, & Cabo San Lucus. We really lucked out because it is current the rainy season in the Puerto Vallerta and Mazatlan but the weather was good on both days we were there. Took the Tequilla tour in Puerto Vallerta.. Loved it.... Our guide was great and the Tequilla factories were great. I must see is the Malacon ( Boardwalk), with the european style open air bar's and cafes, it like walking back into Spain. Mazatlan is was nice. We bypassed the tours offered and asked a taxi driver " How much for a hour tour of the town". It was only $ 25.00 and we had a better tour then any company could offer ( We also speak spanish, so that was a big help). The taxi's there are " open air"( Open sides). They look like supersized gold carts. The town is divided in two. The downtown section which had a fantastic flea market. The golden zone is where the majority of the hotels and clubs are at. We had drinks at Pancho's. great place.. right on the beach...
Cabo San Lucas was a disappointment. If you are scuba people , you'll love it, but if your not, this is a disappointment. Half the town is currently under construction.
Debarkation- There is two ways to go.. One is too leave your bags outside the door the night before and the porter will bring them down to the dock for you. the only problem is that you have to wait for your zone to be called. The other is self-assist. That means you carry your own luggage down. We did it this way and we were off the boat by 8:30am.
Overall... Nice boat, excellent service, great vacation. If you except the Ritz, this is'nt your boat, but