Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by geneven: Carnival Blandeur
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
This was an ok but not really a special cruise. The crew were very friendly but almost all the amenities were mediocre, from the drafty muster, where you really got a taste for what a real crew must have been in for once upon a time, to the formal dining, when the powers that be tried to force you into dancing even if you didn't want to, to the unintelligible captain's loudspeaker reports, to the mostly stay-away-from-this food.
One of the nice things was the ship-wide available wireless internet access, which really did work everywhere I tried it except on a few occasions when obviously some equipment was down and the staff was asleep. The access was of course quite expensive, and I was happy I sprang for the $100 special, which they told me worked out to 40 cents a minute. I managed to make it last the whole cruise, which crimped my Internet style -- I couldn't leave Twitter on constantly, for example, and I couldn't do a really rigorous read of the day's news -- but I More could check my email, delete my spam, and spot check my favorite news sites whenever I wanted. I was carrying a Nokia N900 mobile computer, which is close as you can get to a computer and phone that actually fits easily into your pocket.
Until we discovered the delicious Indian food aboard, the only thing I really liked was the hamburgers, and for breakfast the yogurt, chocolate milk. The coffee was pretty tasteless and I couldn't particularly tell it had any caffeine in it.
The ship's library was pathetic; it's good that I had a bunch of books with me on the N900 and on my Kindle. The daily ship's news delivered to your cabin was unusually boring; there was a version of an actual world news summary available, but you had to look for it and it was also boring.
People-watching aboard was fair. Midships on the Lido deck was mainly a family area, but the aft deck was a bit wilder and more fun. I was often looking for a quiet place to read, so I went down to a dark bar next to the Internet cafe, where reasonably good jazz was playing, to quiet corridors, or back to the room.
I had an interesting experience watching players at Texas Hold'em in the casino. Some of the players seemed highly competent. My main experience is on Poker Stars online, so I didn't partake -- it felt like it might be an ambush. I think there was a minimum buy-in of $100, and I became nervous when I heard a conversation about proper etiquette, not quitting right after a big win. Hey, on Poker Stars no one cares if you quit after a big win.
I would say that if you take this cruise, be prepared to take your vacation with you, in your mind. Carnival won't provide you with one, but it's an adequate place to enjoy the vacation you whip up. Less
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