Embarkation at Long Beach, CA was not perfect, but tolerable. Ship was 1 hour late for arrival due to heavy fog, unforeseeable and unavoidable. Once actual boarding commenced it went very smoothly with our 11AM arrival to port with only about 30 minutes to check in, followed by 1 1/2 hours of wait time to board Ample and good quality food at the Lido buffet was the first order of the day about 1:30PM while listening to some "island music" in Lido pool area. After storing our bags, next up was a DOD and 3PM meet and great organized by a cruisecritic.com & carnival.com poster. The immensity of this ship is impressive and we 3 (DH60, me DW57 and our 24 yo college spring break son) were agog at so much to see and do. Once we discovered the to and fro of our personal favorite spots, on board navigation improved, but is at times a challenge as others have posted, several dead ends to be maneuvered around. Didn't even try to go or do everything as we prefer to immerse in the favorites for me the Sun/serenity deck 12 port side after scoring an ice water w lemon/lime slice bottomless pitchers from the spa deck relaxation area also on deck 12. Note to fellow insomniacs, Lido area is best and only place I found to read at 4-5AM and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and finally at 6AM some fruit while waiting for my family to wake up and have breakfast together! My families only complaint was dining room food mostly arrived luke warm, but was of good quality and selection. Cooking and food delivery for 3,000 can be no easy task. We ate in Black Pearl (thank you Luis our head waiter,service was supurb)dining room most nights, but preferred the Mongolian grill (alas, only open 11 AM till 2:30-3:30) or may have done that for supper also and Lido buffet with made to order omelets for breakfast. Haven't braved my bathroom scales just yet so don't know what damage I've done!
Weather was great and seas mostly calm for our 7 day adventure, had a bit of ocean slop as we powered back on Sunday 3-28 doing 21 knots, but stabilizers are good and was barely noticeable. Except in the Theralossopy pool which exhibited a bit of slosh! Not dangerous, just fun. For us our over all experience was a 8 or 9 out of 10 as compared to 3 other cruise lines. Most areas of the ship were a solid 10; some the Thera suite and serenity area a 14-15! As a firm hater of cigarette smoke walking through the casino and past cigar bar was a bummer, but there are ways around those areas once you get the "lay of the ship". not always convenient, but better then the stench. Happy cruising, she (Splendor) was well worthwhile for us!
In Puerto Vallarta I'd booked directly on line with Chicosdiveshop.com for a Los Arcos 4 hour snorkel trip(10AM-2PM) which was the highlight for us of our port stops at a very good price which included a quite fresh and tasty ham/cheese and tomato sandwich plus water and soft drinks and 2 or 3 kinds of beer available, this was the deal of all deals. Fish were plentiful and beautiful and we were never rushed for this wonderful trip. Several saw manta rays, but not me, darn! Upon return to their dive shop right on the Malecon we walked a bit and enjoyed the sculptures and a some shopping before returning to the ship in time for our 6PM seating and the local mariachi band which strolled through the Black Pearl. I was so disappointed as missed the 9PM Spectacular theater Marichi presentation as we all fell asleep watching March madness in our cabin after dinner! One night in the Spectacular theater was a very funny flown in comic who'd previously appeared on Jimmy Kimmel and an amazing electric fiddle & guitar player flown in from Las Vegas who was as handsome as talented! VERY on all counts! I'd name them ( performers) except we just flew to Portland, Oregon from Long Beach yesterday and unpacking with my saved daily Carnival times is not yet complete.
Our cabin location #1115 was truly lovely and very quiet and convenient to the Lido deck activities we joined in! Most action and Spring break noise and mayhem was aft Lido deck. The spa cabins are well worth the up charge as the included spa amenities must be experienced not described, the Thera pool followed by the 3 warming rooms with lovely music and oh so calming vibe was simply transporting. Loved being able to step out on my private balcony and enjoy that before dinner glass of wine or morning cup of tea