Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by KittyMeowit: Mexican Riviera: Oct 24, 2010
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Mexican Riviera: Oct 24, 2010
This is our fifth cruise, and our second on Carnival. We had planned this crise since early spring and went along with ten family members to celebrate my father in law's 50th birthday. It was the first ever cruise for the majority of them.
-We enjoyed our cruise director, John and he always kept us laughing
-The stateroom and dining room staff were kind and providing us with wonderful service as usual
-Each of the ports were absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed all of our excursions (one through Carnival, one through an independant company)
-The decor of the ship was fun
-Karaoke where you sing with a live band was fun
-The adult only pools and whirlpools really were adult only
-24 hour pizza!
-Dinner at the steakhouse was fabulous
-Quite a lot of attention was given when we asked guest service for earplugs because of the very loud noises above our room late night. We were below a kitchen More and at times it sounded as if they were dropping safes. But regardless we understood people had to work and figured we would ask for earplugs and that would be the end of it. Guest services investigated the noise and then called the next day to follow up to see if it was still happening which it was. They sent a letter to our room the next day and called to tell us that we could switch rooms if we would like for the remainder of the cruise. Considering the effort that it would take to repack everything in our room for a couple of days we kindly declined their offer.
-Fast and easy debarkation
-When we tried to add our sister to our booking in late summer, we were told that it would cost around a thousand dollars for an internal room since they would have to move us into a different catagory room and we would be forced to surrender our early saver rates. Writing customer support got me nowhere on this front.
-When we arrived at the port, we were shocked to find three thousand other passengers waiting outside the port to get checked in. We had to wait in a line for twenty minutes to give the porter our bags and then because my mother was in a wheelchair, we got put into a shorter line for special assistance. Even given this consideration, it took two hours to get on the ship. They were also hand writing our credit card numbers on paper sail and sign forms which were constantly blowing away in the wind. We were told that it was because of customs delays in the morning and that they got started late but our first Carnival cruise took us at least two hours to get on board as well.
-Carnival confiscated the two bottles of wine in our luggage. We approached guest services about this since according to their website you could each bring one bottle onboard. They state that it had to be in the carry on since it could be a minor attempting to bring it. I explained that the airline would not allow that to be in the carry on luggage and it wasn't reasonable to expect us to open our luggage in the crowd of 3000 people and transfer it. They refused to return the wine so I refused to spend a dime on alcohol on board. Positive: the cheapest we have ever gotten off for our onboard account on a cruise.
-Entertainment in main theater was extremely limited. This disappointed us because on our first Carnival cruise, the entertainment variety was a highlight. Our first cruise had the singers/dancers, game shows, magicians, a ventriloquist, etc. This time around it was only singers/dancers or some show with the cruise director. Seems that they cut their entertainment budget by a lot.
-Carnival charged $30 per person per day for their therapy pool. This was free through Celebrity and we really enjoyed it so we were appalled at the huge price tag. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Splendor Interior Main 2034
Underneath dining room/kitchen and VERY LOUD late at night. You can hear carts being rolled overhead and lots of clanging.
Port and Shore Excursions
Once back we ate lunch at a restaurant in the port and then again did a little shopping in the flea market.
We then took a taxi to do some shopping in the Golden Zone. This "Golden Zone" puzzled me because there were very little shops and the prices were all considerably higher then Puerto Vallarta or even the big market right there at the port! The prices at that market at the port are actually quite reasonable but as always you will need to negotiate the pricing there.
We then walked out of the port, took a left and then walked a few blocks to the end of the street where we were able to purchase water taxi tickets for $2 per person, round trip to Stone Island. Once we reached the island we hopped in the back of a truck and took a short ride for $1 per person to arrive at Victors. This is a restaurant/bar on the beach. You can have them set up tables/chairs/umbrellas out in the sun and the Pacifico beers are only $1.50 each. The margaritas are considerably more but very large. We also ordered the garlic shrimp and guacamole which were fabulous.
Once we got back to the port we stopped at the little bar set up right before you get back on the boat. More cheap beer and quite a wild crowd. Eventually we had pull ourselves away and get back on the ship. Wonderful beach day and great for anyone on a budget!
Once we got to the canopy site we got geared up and climbed up the stairs to the first zip line. Let me warn you...if you are in tough physical condition, do not do this tour because there are A LOT of stairs. The zip lining was such a blast and the employees were funny and very nice. Although we did take our own pictures we did purchase some pictures and video from them. After we had a mango margarita with chips and guacamole at their bar. We fed tortillas to these cute little critters that they had in cages in the bar. I forget what they were called but they were related to raccoons. Then they had a couple of rooms with little monkeys and a huge iguana. They would put strawberry yogurt on your hand and let you walk into their large cage where the monkeys would jump on your shoulder and eat the yogurt.
On the way back we stopped at the flea market for a bit. The vendors are aggressive, just as they are at all of the ports in Mexico. If you are interested in something you really have to haggle with them to get a decent price. We walked along the ocean for quite a long time and enjoyed the various beach art. There were sand sculptures and a guy that stacked these long rocks on their ends. We eventually took a taxi back since it was getting quite late.
Pinch me I must be dreaming!
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