Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by Applealex: 7 day Mexican Riviera on the Carnival Splendor
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7 day Mexican Riviera on the Carnival Splendor
Embarkation was easy. We arrived at around 10AM (way before Carnival's recommended 1:30PM) and found no one at the luggage tag desk. We waited and watched as several porters and even a few Carnival employees came by to check the drawers and left. Finally, a porter came running by handing out luggage tags to those who needed them. We handed in our luggage and proceeded to check in. We were handed a letter that went along the lines of "Welcome, we're glad to have you as a guest but we've just disembarked 3,000 passengers and need you to wait until we clean your staterooms", health forms, and a Zone 1 card. After filling out the necessary information we went to actually check in. handed our passports and were issued our Sail & Sign cards at around 10:30. At that point came the fun part, waiting, and waiting, and more waiting. At 12:15 they began embarkation, starting with the VIPs and then the special assistance and then finally the Zone 1 passengers. We were More the first people to board behind the VIPs and special assistance passengers.
The ship layout was pretty basic, the central elevator was pretty much the gateway to everything onboard for me. The outer decks were a bit more of a pain to navigate but I never really went up there. The biggest pain for me was that if I was at the center of the ship on deck 3 and 4 and I wanted to go to the front. I'd either have to cut through the restaurants (usually closed) or go up to deck 5 then go down the spiral staircases in the atrium. The ship decor is the #1 reason for the 1, 2, and some 3 star (or ribbons I guess they are) reviews on this site. Honestly, it didn't bug me at all. Sure they could've picked a better color and pink wasn't exactly the nicest thing to see every turn I took but... I didn't mind.
Our stateroom has 1 big bed and 2 single beds that hung off the top (we didn't discover this until our stateroom steward pointed it out). it was always clean and ok for us regardless of how small. Our stateroom steward (I think his name was Dennis) was always smiling and always making us laugh and just a great guy.
I didn't go to any of the shows onboard. Carnival shows are the same on all ships (welcome aboard show, the comedy of some unknown guy, VROOOM, Carnival legends, Mexican folklore) and while they do have different people every time, the show plot is generally the same and since this was my 3rd cruise, I just didn't want to watch the same shows all over again
The Guest Services people were very helpful and even accommodating to my ridiculous questions (How long is the extension cord that keeps us plugged into electricity on land? Do the toilets use fresh or salt water?). One thing I did notice, there would only be 2 or 3 crew working with a line of about 20 needing help. One thing Carnival needs to work on.
We only went to the dining room on embarkation day. While our waiter (I think his name was Ken) was very friendly, they took forever to serve us. It took about 9 minutes for him to first talk to us after we sat down. 20 minutes to get us our entrees, and another 20 to get us our main courses. By the time we finally got our main courses, we had been sitting there for nearly an hour. I can get my main course in about 3 minutes in the Lido buffet.
The shops were on deck 5 and had a wide variety of items like clothing, candy, chocolates, basic essentials. The itms are severely overpriced, but, according to the crew "it's worth it because you don't have to pay taxes". I bought a Splendor model from one of the shops that looks nothing like the Splendor itself. they didn't even bother to build in the slide that other ship models in other shops on other ships did have. The shops also didn't carry chap stick which I was in dire need of by the 4th day at sea.
Club O2 was where I spent the majority of my time onboard. Our O2 director was Ashley (We were the last group to have her, she'll be on the Spirit from now on) was enthusiastic about all the activities but didn't stick to the schedule often. the activities ran from around 1PM to midnight but sometimes later. it was a very vibrant place with lots of lights.
Lido deck buffet:
While onboard, my diet consisted mainly of pizza, grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, and omelets. I never left those 3 to try anything else out of the many other foods available. the food I did try was ok. the omelet maker often didn't cook the ham correctly so it would come out raw at times. the pizza tasted awful on embarkation day but improved as the cruise went on. The food wasn't the greatest but it was ok.
Friendly staff and a wide range of activities. My only complaint is that the registration process takes forever. they need you to fill out a form and then they check your name off a list and so on... Why not make something like the interactive kiosks by the guest services desks? Put an iPad and a credit card scanner on a podium. let users scan their child's Sail& Sign and theirs, fill out the information on the touchscreen, and sign on the iPad itself. that would pull all the information from the cards and check that off the roster as well.
Wide range for everyone, didn't do many tho
Incredibly easy, We got there around 7:30 and around 8:10 they just called "if you have all your luggage, you're free to disembark" and we left. Less
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