My wife and I concluded our Mexican Riviera cruise a couple of weeks ago. For me, it was one of those trips that was just OK, and if I don't ever take that specific cruise again, I will be fine with it.
Our first mistake was to book a balcony room on Deck 8, below the Lido Deck dining area. The noise wasn't an issue during the day, but every night between 12am to 4:30am, it was just horrible. You can hear the cleaning staff moving chairs, pushing carts and dropping heavy items all night long. As I am a light sleeper, I didn't sleep well at all on the entire cruise. If that wasn't bad enough, our cabin was directly across from a utility closet the staff uses to clean the rooms. The workers are very loud, talking and joking with one another, banging the vacuum and cleaning carts early in the morning. At one point I had to open my door and give them that "Are you kidding me" stare.
On our first full day at sea, my wife and I decided to take in the cool sea breeze at the aft adult pool (It's really not Adult, with a lot of parents and little children in the pool). As I was sitting out on the deck, I notice small black particles slowly falling down...it was coming from the distinctive carnival smoke stack. Some of these particles landed on us, we quickly realized it was "SOOT" from the smoke stack!!! I was wearing white shorts, and you know white shorts and black soot just do not mix. Has anyone ever experienced this before? That was the last day we stayed aft of the smoke stack. Our dining experience wasn't any better. I was very disappointed with the "quality" of food aboard the Splendor. I think, with the current economy, even the cruise lines are cutting back. Carnival chooses "quantity" over "quality". You can eat all you want, but the food just isn't good. Breakfast was the worse. The choices are limited and just so-so. I did, however, get my eggs over easy a couple of mornings, despite the long wait. There is definitely a "Herd" mentality when it comes to chow time. Some of the passengers are right on top of you in the chow line. It's so annoying, by the 4th day, you just want to punch these people in the face.
The days in port were nice. The reputation of Carnival being a "Party" ship must be true. Every time we left a port, the smell of POT was in the air, coming from a few cabins down from ours. My wife and I would stand out on the balcony, waving good-bye to the locals. I just found it very odd that people would take that chance and bring marijuana on board the ship, considering Mexico's strict illegal drug laws. The day in Cabo was very very short. It's almost not worth disembarking, but we did. We were all told what time to be back on ship that day. The ship was set to sail at 3PM, so we had to be back at 2pm. Wouldn't you just know it, two couples were late getting back on the ship. We didn't sail until close to 4pm. The last two days at sea were very rough. I guess sailing north, against the Pacific tends to make for very rough seas. You can really feel every big wave hitting the ship. Our room had a very interesting feature. It had a "bubble" or dip in the floor. Every time we step on it, it would dip, and when we stepped off, it would pop back up. It would make this "popping" noise every time. Since the ship was moving back and forth, side to side the last two days, it would shake the entire room. It would also make the floor "pop" ALL NIGHT LONG!!!! Being from California, the way the room shook was very similar to an earthquake....just lasting 2 days...no kidding. Needless to say, by the time we docked into Long Beach, I was just exhausted. Overall, my personal experience is that before you go on this particular cruise, make sure you pack your patience along with your sunscreen...and get plenty of sleep before you leave.