“Pleasantly surprised by Carnival!”
Cruise review of Carnival Splendor

Pauljanh Carnival Splendor 4 Pleasantly surprised by Carnival!
Member Since 2010
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My son talked me into booking a cruise on the Carnival Splendor this past February 14, 2010 to accompany some of his friends from another school for a Senior Trip. I had only cruised twice before, once on American Cruises on the East Coast (a miserable experience), and also on a Royal Caribbean Cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. I had seen a Carnival ship in a port in the Caribbean, and (I don't mean to sound like a snob, but...) the customers boarding the ship seemed like a bunch of drunk yahoos. I was not looking forward to the experience.

Boy was I wrong. The Carnival Splendor is a great ship. It is only 18 months old. It is the top rated in their fleet for friendliness, and it has received the most 100% ratings from the Federal Inspectors. The ship is immaculate. Our cabins, 1st deck, ocean view, were larger and nicer than our comparable cabins on Royal Caribbean. It was a very good value. My sons, 14 and 18 had plenty to do. Out of 3,500 passengers, about 1,000 were under 18......but we didn't feel over run by kids. The service was excellent and very friendly. The food was good on the Lido deck, and very good in the Black Pearl restaurant. My only complaint was that occasionally some of our side orders arrived cold.

Our ports of call were Puerto Vallarta (very nice, decent amount of time in port), Mazatlan (nothing too spectacular), and Cabo San Lucas (excellent destination, but only 7 hours in port).

I would recommend this to any family. It would be comparatively entertaining to a week at a Club Med.

Carnival Splendor Cruises to the Mexican Riviera
Overall Ratings
  • Cabin
  • Dining
  • Embarkation
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Children
  • Fitness & Recreation
  • Onboard Experience
  • Public Rooms
  • Rates
  • Service
  • Shore Excursions
  • Value for Money

Cabin review:

We had 1441/1445 connecting rooms. They were sized well for a non-suite. Even though it was the lowest level, there was not that much engine noise. My only complaint was that the shower stall overflowed somewhat frequently.

Port and Shore Excursions

This is an excellent destination.........but way too little time there. Our group split up. The kids went on a water taxi to a secluded beach where they snorkeled and watched whales go by. I went with my wife to an exclusive resort (The One and Only La Palmilla) for lunch. While waiting for the LONG line for reboarding the ship, we sat in town at a restaurant and had beers and Tequilla with nachos. A great day was had by all. The problem is that they don't allow enough time there....8:00 AM to 2:30 PM.

The town is nice. We wandered around and did a little shopping. There were a few interesting stores featuring local art. The town had a kind of Mexican New Orleans feel about it. Otherwise, it was an uneventful destination.

Read 417 Mazatlan Reviews
We went ATVing, and on a 20+ run zip line that we booked outside of Carnival. We had a great time. After coming back to the ship to change, we went out for the evening to a Mexican restaurant that was recommended by an American ex-patriate, called PiPi's and it was great. This was a perfect amount of time in port.

Published 02/25/10
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Carnival Splendor Cruises to the Mexican Riviera
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