This was our second cruise on Carnival to the Mexican Riviera. The last time was June of 2008 on the Carnival Pride.
We drove into Long Beach the day before from Tucson and stayed at the Comfort Inn-Long Beach. We took advantage of the park and cruise package which included breakfast, trasportation to and from the pier and parking for the week for $150.00. The hotel itself was nice and comfortable and the breakfast was good but the area of town was not that great. Since we checked in by 1pm we decided to try to head down to the marina and see some sights. Luckly we check with the front desk about directions and was advised that the Long Beach Grand Prix was going on and it would not be a good idea to drive as we would never find parking. We decided to take the train which was a block away from the hotel. I would not recomend taking this at night, there was some, let's just say interesting people and some peculiar scents on the train. What we saw of the Grand Prix was very More
cool, and exciting and very loud, it got your heart beating.
Embarktion-We checked out of our room and 11:00am and were at the pier by 11:30. We had a lot of luggage since we drove in and did not have to worry about flight restrictions, my husband even brought his golf clubs. As soon as we pulled up the porters were there to take our luggage and we proceded to check in right by the terminal. Check in is no longer in the Queen Mary. We were assigned zone four and they started calling zones by 12:30. It was a very quick and smooth process and we were on the ship by 1:00.
The first thing I did was head to our assigned dining room, the Golden Peal to speak with the Matr'D to ask about a table for two. I was told the Matr'D would be in the Black Pearl Restaurant at 1:30 so I headed to that restaurant and found him right away and he graciously assinged us to a table for two but in the Black Peal instead of the Golden Pearl.
The second thing on my list to accomplish was finding the Internet Lounge to get set up with an internet package so we could communicate with our kiddos that we left back home. I brought my laptop, again lots of luggage, so I could be on line from our room. The web manager was very nice and told me I just needed to log on to my lap top and it would take me to a log in screen for Carnival and I could do everything from my room. I had no issues with slow internet and we even did Skype from the ship twice. It was just like home, but a little pricey. I spent 150.00 on interent packages and even recieved some free minutes during their special times. I used it all, I am a little addicted to checking email and FB. We had access to our room by 2:00 and all of our luggage was there including the case of soda we brought and the case of water. I unpacked and then we explored the ship for a couple hours and hopped in the pool until it was time for the safety drill and then sail away.
Our room was on the 6th floor midship. This was a great location as right below us was the 5th floor where the casino, clubs, coffee shop, shopping and more was located. It took us no time to get around I think because of our location. We either went down one flight of stairs or right up the elevator to floor nine to the Lido deck. Down two flights of stairs and that was the entrance to the Black Pearl. Everything was great! Except when it came time to go to bed. This location was very loud! We could hear Everything from the 5th floor. We did not let it bother us but there was no real sleeping until after 1:00am when the music and noise would quiet down.
It was a little tricky trying to find your way around since most floors do not go all the way through. A lot of going up and down and over to get to a certain location. We figured it out pretty quickly and just laughed about it when we were lost. I was waiting to see what my husbands reaction to certain things would be because he does not ever read these reviews so I wanted to see if he noticed the pink, the eggs on the ceiling and all the other things people are always complaining about the Splendor. Neither one of us thought the pink was too much, he never mentioned the "eggs" on the ceiling in the dining room until I did. He then said, they are not eggs silly, they are oysters with pearls, hence the name Golden Pearl, Black Pearl.
The food was great in the dining room. We ate there each evening except for my husbands birthday and we chose the Pinnacle for that evening. I would highly recommend this to everyone. Wonderful dining experience! OUr waiters in the Black Peal were the best! Constantly wanting to bring us more food and wanting us to try different things. Late dining was hard for me. I would find myself hungry at 6 so I would usually go have a salad on the Lido before dinner at 8:15. We were always so stuffed after dinner that we pretty much went to bed to listen to all the activity from down below us.
We did not really go to any shows, not our thing. We did catch the R rated comedian one evening and he was actually pretty funny. He was in one of the bars and not in the main show room. Luckly this bar was nonsmoking. The piano bar would have been great fun but the smoking was just too much and we could not stand it after a half hour. The sports bar was the same way and there was no point anyway since all they showed was soccor on eight big screen TV's. My husband still can't understand that part.
My husband golfed in both Puerto Vallarta and Mazatalan. I went to the Krystal for a mesage and facial in PV. So much better then my spa experience on the Splendor. I should have known better. I went on the colonial village tour in Mazatlan. This tour was all day and very interesting but probably boring for some. A lot of traveling on a bus. You make about four stops one direction and then a strait hour and half ride back. Relaxing and informative but not a lot of excitement. In Cabo we walked to Cabo Wabo and then took a sea taxi to lovers beach. Beautiful! I wish there was more time in Cabo. We headed back to the tender area at about 1ish had lunch and then before we knew it, it was time to go. Unfortunalty this was the worst part. A HUGE line to wait in to tender back to the ship. I don't remember this the last time but just a minor thing no big deal.
Debarktion-Piece of cake. We somehow carried off all of our luggage ourselves and were back in our car and on the road by 9:00am. Back in Tucson by 5pm.
This was a very relaxing vacation for my husband and I and we will absolutely do it again! Less