My Not So Splendid Splendor Cruise Day started with a surprise- Due to Hurricane Jimena, we were now scheduled to go to Catalina & Ensenada instead of PV & Mazatlan! Not so bad, except we can go there any time, we’re scheduled for a 4-day cruise to those ports in Oct, & the couple we traveled with just moved, after owning a hotel there for 50 years!
Boarding was easy, they saw my walker & my friend’s cane & led us to the shortest lines at the Spruce Goose. We were shocked at the decor (Pepto Bismal pink leopard skin polka dots!), which clashed with the mauve & orange carpet & seats! We finally got to our cabin, & found ourselves between two cabins of a family reunion (why they didn’t put them together at the time of booking is beyond me) who communicated by yelling across the balconies. We tried to move, but no luck. The walls were paper-thin too, which didn’t help.
Food was great! Crème Brule, lobster, and a desert called “Chocolate Melting Cake,” which is basically an undercooked chocolate brownie with fudge! Other menu favorites were the duck & lamb & Cornish game hen. Not to mention the all-day pizza & frozen yogurt served all day on the lido deck.
They had plenty of games on board & I won 2 medallions (one for Win, Lose or Draw, & the other for tying on a trivia game), a Splendid “ship on a stick” trophy (finally getting that in my hot little hands was a story in itself) & a certificate for being on the winning Trivia team! I met some interesting people playing trivia there too. The Entertainment was wonderful too; three Vegas-style Production shows with 2 marvelous singers & 6 female & 4 male dancers who gave us their all. Two of the shows were new (The Beat & Fiesta Latino), plus a re-done version of Vroom, which I’d seen last year on the Pride. The comics were fun too. We had heard that Carnival had eliminated finger foods & collectible pins for their “Past Cruisers Party;” luckily, we found that not to be the case—try the chicken salad!
Now, the minus’: Besides having our cabin between two noisy families, the air-conditioning was full blast (normally we have to ask for a fan). There was also no ventilation in Casino, which wasn’t helped by the fact that the smoking section of the casino was placed near the non-smoking seats! The machines I liked were in the smoking section, & they stole my money (well, I lost, but the same thing!) The ship was cut up & if you wanted to go from stem to stern, (restaurant-on Deck 3 & our cabin-Deck 6; back to theater on Deck 3), we had to take the elevator to Lido (Deck 9) or Promenade (Deck 5) or fight past the cabin decks (6-8), then take the elevators back down. We ended up watching the shows from Deck 5, so we wouldn’t have to fight the crowd for the up elevators. I must have walked a mile a day! At the Golden Pearl restaurant, we asked for a table for 5, so we could talk quietly; they gave us a cafeteria table for 10, with me jammed in a corner. The next day, we were moved to the lower level, towards the back, but a smaller table. Our serving team, Cenon & “Vlad”, had the best personalities & kept us entertained. Security needs to be up-graded. Teens ran the ship; a pair of brothers threw things off the 5th deck balconies (one day they even had a spitting contest- a bartender yelled, but nothing was done. A man walked down the corridor smoking. We called security about our “neighbors” (who came alive after 11pm), & no one came. Schedules for games & music overlapped (music trivia in the same location as pre-dinner piano & no; the pianist was not used. Then, games & entertainment were late getting started (a guitarist got drunk, over-slept & was an hour late to perform the first night!) the Entertainment Team didn’t even show up for the 70’s disco “Color Team Games” until 11:15 (when they were scheduled to begin). The Legends show singers started a half hour late & singers were cast according to voices, not “types;” an Asian Rickey Martin; black Gloria Estefan; & bearded, stocky Sinatra. And karaoke had more rap than show-tunes, which made it harder for the over-40 guests to enjoy participating; let alone watching. This has been the Longest 7-day cruise I’ve ever spent. Thank goodness for the $50 OBC & %15 discount on the next cruise (which we are hoping can be used for an up-grade for our Oct cruise.