In nautical terms it is proper to refer to ships in the feminine manner...such as "she" or "her", but with the Carnival Splendor they aren't kidding. This ship is most definitely a girl. Maybe it's the pink wood patterns, or the both dining rooms being named "Pearl". While some may disagree, it has been my experience that if one has been on one Destiny or Conquest class Carnival vessel, they have been on all the Destiny/Conquest "Fun Ships". Pink dEcor aside, this is largely true with the Splendor as well. Some exceptions are the "Cloud 9 Spa" and mid-ship, as opposed to AFT, sliding sky dome. Food was typical Carnival, which is not such a bad thing after all, in that continuity from ship to ship appeals to me as a Carnival quality. Of the three production shows, the last one... a rock montage named Vroom" was my favorite. All three ports of call provided picture postcard scenery and ample adventure activities.
***Puerto Vallarta*** Expert Hiking Tour = a bus carried us up to an area where we hiked through the Mountains. It was hot and the terrain was usually often slippery on an often steep grade, but the river crossings made the trip worthwhile. Rhythms of the Night was the highlight of my whole trip. This tour starts on a party boat out to Caletas; a secluded area where John Huston once made his home. Once arrived, we were met my costumed entertainers, where we were presented with a Mesoamerican themed luau show. The dancers there seem to have the agility of gymnast. And the buffet food by candle & touch-light as the sun set was a marvelous experience.
*** Mazatlan*** The Colonial Villages of the Sierra Madre: visited a adobe brick "factory" where clay is turned into bricks, an old fashioned bakery, a tile shop, a furniture shop, and two colonial towns. Both Concordia and Copala are historic picturesque "real Mexico" towns which makes the trip worth the money. The beautiful churches, both dating from the 18th century are the centerpieces of these lovely places. Lunch at an ambient Copala restaurant was included, which enhanced the adventure.
*** Cabo San Lucas*** I did Carnival's Land and Sea shore excursion, which included a visit to Land's End via party boat, a stop at Cactus Mundo botanical garden, and San Jose Del Cabo and its picturesque church.
In summery.... it was a great vacation and I can highly recommend the Carnival Splendor to Mexico's Pacific!!